Infertility: Causes and Concerns

Experts believe that late marriages, stress, and a changing lifestyle are among the key causes of the rising prevalence of infertility in Kashmir. [Representational Image]
Experts believe that late marriages, stress, and a changing lifestyle are among the key causes of the rising prevalence of infertility in Kashmir. [Representational Image] urevolution: Fatinha Ramos [Creative Commons]

A new report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) highlights the staggering number of individuals affected by infertility. According to the survey, around 17.5% of the adult population, or nearly one in every six persons globally, experience infertility at some time in their life.

Infertility is defined as “a disease of the male or female reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse”.

Previous estimates suggest that between 48 million couples and 186 million people live with infertility globally. Like other parts of the world, Jammu and Kashmir is no different. 

As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) for 2019-21, there has been a sharp fall in the total fertility rate (TFR) in UT. The fertility rate has come down from two to 1.4, far below the national average of two since 2015-16.

Experts believe that late marriages, stress, and a changing lifestyle are among the key causes of the rising prevalence of infertility in Kashmir.

As per the doctors, Azoospermia and Asthenospermia are some main causes for the male infertility while as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Polyps in the uterus, Endometriosis or fibroids, Scar tissue or adhesions, Chronic medical illness, ectopic (tubal) pregnancy are some of the reasons for female infertility.

As per the doctors, the lifestyle, food adulteration, and intake of chicken, dairy, and fast food have all contributed to a significant increase in these instances.

Many parents disregard the warning indications of obesity, irregular monthly cycles, abnormally enlarged body hair, especially on the face, hirsutism, hair loss alopecia, acne, and skin discoloration.

This is the moment to wake up and disseminate awareness, modify eating habits, get regular exercise, and do general screening around menarche.

In Kashmir, the causes of infertility are numerous and multifaceted. Infertility can be caused by environmental factors such as pollution and chemicals, as well as lifestyle decisions like as smoking and poor nutrition. Genetic factors, hormone imbalances, and anatomical anomalies can all play a role.

Infertility may have a profound impact on people and couples in Kashmir. Infertility can cause emotions of loneliness, guilt, and inadequacy, straining relationships and family dynamics. In a world where having children is considered a necessity, infertility may be especially stigmatising and isolated.

Despite the fact that infertility is common in Kashmir, access to reproductive care is restricted. There is a scarcity of competent fertility experts and facilities in the region, and those that do exist are sometimes too expensive for many couples.

To address the issue of infertility in Kashmir, better knowledge and education regarding the causes and treatments of infertility are required. This might include instructional efforts in schools and community centres, as well as support groups and counselling services for infertile people and couples.

Furthermore, additional investment in reproductive clinics and infrastructure in the region is required. This can involve programmes to train healthcare professionals to specialise in reproductive care, as well as public-private partnerships to make fertility therapy more inexpensive and accessible to everyone.

Finally, there is a need to de-stigmatize infertility and offer emotional support to individuals who are going through it. This might involve providing counselling and support groups to help people and couples through the emotional path of fertility treatment, as well as establishing safe spaces for individuals and couples to discuss their experiences.

In conclusion, infertility is a growing concern in Kashmir that requires urgent attention. By increasing awareness, investing in facilities and training programs, and providing emotional support, we can help individuals and couples overcome infertility and achieve their dream of starting a family.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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