According to the World Health Organization; Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse (and there is no other reason, such as breastfeeding or postpartum
Primary infertility is infertility in a couple who have never had a child. Secondary infertility is failure to conceive following a previous pregnancy. Infertility may be caused by infection in the man or woman, but often there is no obvious underlying cause.
Healthy couples under the age of 30 who have regular sexual intercourse without contraception have 25% to 30% chance of getting pregnant each month. In women ,the age when fertility starts to decline vary from woman to woman. A woman is most fertile in her early 20s and the chances of a woman getting pregnant drops greatly after age 35.
The incidence of the various factors which cause infertility varies among different populations all around the world. Generally, males contribute about 30% of the cause of infertility, females contribute about 30% and both males and females contribute 30% of the problem. 10% is attributed to unknown causes which cannot be explained (unexplained infertility).
Implications of Infertility
Infertility have both social and psychological effects on the couple suffering from it. The consequences are manifold and can include a lot of emotional effect which can lead to the couple getting greatly distressed and loss of control which is being compounded by social stigmatization. Marital discord can develop and depression can also set in especially for the women involved.
An NGO, the Merck Foundation, collaborating with the African Fertility Society, has been able to unravel through the various campaigns in Africa, some of the consequences of infertility on the continent. Worthy of note is a case in Nairobi , where a lady called Jaque, got her two hands amputated by her husband because she could not have a baby. She became famous worldwide as one of the stigmas that come with infertility, especially among the females. This is one of the reasons why we need continuous education on this subject that affect many homes and marriages.
Tackling The Infertility Issue
Infertility, unfortunately, isn’t something that a lot of young people openly talk about. The causes of infertility can range from genetic factors to conditions like endometriosis, endometritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) e.t.c in females. The main cause of infertility in males is attributed to sperm problems.
Regardless of the diagnosis, it can be hard to know, as a young person, that you may not be able to bear children. And being scared of discussing your infertility with an intimate partner runs the risk of compounding these fears and potentially making the situation much more daunting for you.
One of the many fears young people facing infertility have is that they will disappoint their partner.
There are several treatment options for treating infertility and with the current researches and innovations in improving reproductive health, many couples will have a reason to laugh because of the cry of a baby in their home.
Is Infertility on the Rise?
In recent years several fertility experts and other stakeholders have focused intensely on the issue of infertility. Infertility is more critical because of the United Nation’s declaration that everyone has the right to have a baby. In other words, having a baby should be by choice. Hence everything must be done to get everyone access to fertility care.
Despite the rise in world population, there are suggestions that highlights an increase among couples. It is reported that about 25% of couples face infertility problems. The reports say that in India, which has severe overpopulation, the most common reason for a visit to the doctor is infertility.
In Nigeria, infertility which used to be a small area of gynecology practice, has now become a vast discipline with several doctors devoting their clinics solely to it. During the recent conference of the African Fertility Society and the International Federation of Fertility Societies in Kampala Uganda, held on March 1 , 2018 , the number of IVF clinics in Nigeria was revealed to be close to 70. The number of IVF clinics in Africa is near 160, in comparison with the number of clinics in Chicago city alone, which is over 80.
Reasons Why Infertility May Be Rising
Research shows that in the past 30 years, infertility has increased and those over the age of 30 have the most problems.
The dramatic increases in infertility over the last 30 years are due to various factors. They include increases in sexually transmitted diseases, environmental toxins in our food – such as heavy metals in fish, environmental pollution particularly in the oil -producing geographical zones, declining sperm counts from absorption of toxic substances and even the increased tension and anxiety of the modern life.
It is now well known that human ability to get pregnant decreases with age, especially in females. This explains why only 1% of teenagers are infertile while a vast majority of infertile couples are in their 30’s. The growing trend of women taking time to build a professional life before getting married in their 30’s have been suggested by some experts to be one of the reasons for infertility increase among couples today. There is a 25% decrease in fertility rate in women after age 30.
Increasing infertility rates are also attributed to the lifestyle changes resulting in stress and obesity caused by lack of physical exercise, changes in eating habits and pollution accompanied by health disorders such as diabetes. Other factors that may make it difficult for you to get pregnant include abnormal organs, immunological factors and another malfunctioning of the body system.