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The Causes of Infertility of a person to reproduce biologically and naturally is infertility. With evolution, to survive, homo sapiens (humans) have grown and developed many defense mechanisms against numerous natural diseases. All types of animals (including) birds have done the same, infertility is a common problem, from animals to humans it is spreading in all species at different rates.
Infertility is very dangerous as some biologists have stated that with its growing trend, it can be the reason for extinction in humans. Today one in ten human couples have been facing infertility; either of them or both the partners are infertile. Another alarming situation is puberty. Many young girls have reported that their periods started at very young ages (seven to nine). Females who experience early menstrual are also likely to face early menopause (like their late thirties).
So in this post, we will be reading about why infertility is becoming more common in India:
- Different sides of infertility
- Causes of Infertility
- Cultural and Societal consequences
Causes of Infertility can be differentiated in terms of gender. Male and female both are likely to be infertile, with the female being a little more prone to it. Infertility in the female is either the inability to produce an egg or having a harsh environment in the fallopian tube/uterus for egg/embryo. Causes of Infertility has several reasons like physical characteristics, age, genetics, hormonal changes or disturbances, treatment side effects, diseases, or can be even unexplained. Infertility in males revolves around sperm motility, sperm concentration, or obstruction of semen during copulation. Reasons that are listed above for female infertility can also be the reason for male infertility (concerning male organs and hormones).
Causes of Infertility
- Bad habits– Alcohol, smoking & tobacco consumption can significantly affect your fertility. Even other substance abuse like cocaine, marijuana, and others equally harmful to your health. All these substances compromise the quality of sperm and eggs. For males, it results in less sperm motility, quantity, and quality. For females, this can result in immature eggs, impaired fetus development, miscarriage, and an unfavorable environment in the uterus.
- Genetics– As everyone knows, it is the central element of a human being, so such abnormalities also get passed through Causes of Infertility. If a female(s) in the family has faced problems like endometriosis, premature menopause, PCOS/PCOD, or any other infertility related issues, then there are high chances that it can be passed onto the next generation. The same goes for males regarding sperm motility, concentration, quality, quantity, or any other infertility related disorder.
- Lifestyle– In current times, we live a fast-paced life due to which our stress levels get increased. Stress hampers hormones, libido, and the performance of our organs. Other than this, the reduced consumption of natural food is also an issue. Radiations from our phones and other electronic devices are also harmful to us. When we place laptops on the lap, i.e., near the groin, it is very harmful. Age also plays a role in fertility. Today, puberty hits children at a very young age, and because of this, they tend to be infertile at a young too. For females, it’s very accurate as women can only produce a certain amount of eggs in her lifetime. In men as per their age, if they don’t practice healthy lifestyles, then their sperm production can highly get tempered.
- Injury/Accidents– In case of injuries/accidents, the reproductive parts can get damaged, and it can result in certain kinds of dysfunction, thus infertility.
- Hormonal imbalance, disorders, or diseases– PCOS/PCOD is one of the most discussed hormonal reasons for infertility in females. Androgen (male hormones) or estrogen (female hormones) are both present in both genders. In usual cases, females produce more estrogen than androgen, and respectively the same happens in males for male hormones. Sometimes, women start producing more androgen, and this disturbs their sexual functions.
- In males, estrogen is equally important for their fertility, and it is a bit likely to fall, so they have to take care of it. Endometriosis, Endometrial Polyps, Uterine Fibroids, Ovulation Disorders, and Tubal Factor are common conditions (diseases/disorders) of female infertility. Varicocele, Ejaculation Disorders, Undescended Testicles, Celiac Disease, and Sperm Transport Issues are among the prevailing conditions (disease/disorder) for male infertility. Fertility is affected by STD’s, certain medications (like antibiotics), and treatments (like cancer).
- Unexplained Infertility– A couple might be unable to conceive even after going through fertility treatment. The doctors couldn’t diagnose Their reason for fertility. So their condition couldn’t be classed under any of the known reasons for infertility. Such conditions are unexplained or yet to be studied, so they are termed as unexplained infertility.
Cultural and Societal Consequences of Infertility in India
In many parts of India, infertility is still a taboo. In rural areas, many couples don’t reveal or even see a doctor for infertility. Whereas in urban areas, people are literate and aware of it, so they get it checked by a specialist. Still, talking about infertility is awkward people feel shyness/embarrassment. Doctors, along with many influential people, are spreading awareness regarding infertility. They are using digital and print media for this purpose.
The most problematic point is that people don’t understand that infertility is an obstacle and not a dead end. They don’t consult doctors, so many of the cases which could be just solved by some lifestyle changes, medication, and exercise, remain untreated. From the rest of the cases, maximum can be cured with a simple but a bit long course of treatment. Only a handful of cases are there where infertility is incurable or unexplained.
Elements like societal acceptance, even family acceptance was also an issue sometime back. Today, they play a prominent role in rural areas for a couple, not visiting a fertility specialist. Other than this, the couple blames themselves without understanding science and cure. Even literate individuals feel stressed/depressed when they are not able to conceive. This takes a toll on their self-confidence, behavior, and logical thinking. It’s disturbing for a couple to be unable to conceive.
The fertility specialists have learned/adopted calming and friendly ways of communicating with the couples who visit them. Sometimes sharing the news and reasons for infertility with a couple gets a bit tough, as they can be emotionally affected. Doctors try to keep a calm and relaxed atmosphere in clinics and centers, so a couple can feel comfortable in sharing and receiving the news.
So far, we have seen all the causes of infertility that are universal and aren’t nation-specific. For Indians, causes like lifestyle, substance abuse, awareness, and knowledge are among the most common. Genetics is also a common issue, but nothing can be done regarding it as it’s a natural process. We Indians need to shed off this taboo mentality of infertility. As this results in couples not consulting professionals, and not being able to get the treatment.