Updated on 30.10.2016.
Infertility is not merely a problem of inability to have a baby. It has significant psychological, marital, social and financial implications to the couple. In societies, where people (both men and women) crave to have a son, the impact of not being able to have a baby at all is disastrous, particularly to the woman.
This article discusses the issues in detail along with several pictures, graphs and figures for easy understanding of the gravity of the problem in the society. It also highlights the measures that could be adopted at younger age (including teenagers) to reduce the chance of infertility later.
Introduction to Infertility
What is Infertility
The scale of fertility problems
Infertility – A Growing Problem
The Triad of increasing prevalence of Infertility
Pelvic infection and Infertility
Pelvic infection and ectopic pregnancy
Pelvic infection and chronic pelvic pain
Infertility is defined as failure to conceive after regular unprotected sexual intercourse for 1 year in the absence of known reproductive pathology.
A woman of reproductive age who has not conceived after 1 year of unprotected vaginal sexual intercourse, in the absence of any known cause of infertility, should be offered further clinical assessment and investigation along with her partner. (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, UK, 2013).[As infertility denotes no fertility, some people prefer the term sub-fertility that means reduced fertility. Sterility means absolute absence of fertility.]
In the female, primary infertility means that the woman has never been pregnant and secondary infertility means that the woman has had pregnancy before but been unable to conceive since then. In the male, primary infertility means that the man has never made any woman pregnant and secondary infertility means that the man has had made a woman pregnant before but been unable to do that since then.
One in seven couples (15%) has fertility problems (approximately 40 million or 4 crore people in India) (Figure 1).
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