Infertility - "Of every one of nature's blessings to humanity, what is sweeter to a man than his children?" Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Infertility, has the same definition for males as well as females. It is described as the inability toachieve conception even after one year or more of consistent and unprotected intercourse. If conception does indeed occur, but the pregnancy is not carried to full term, the condition would still be described as infertility. The rate of infertility across the globe is about 2-10% as per a WHO report. This rate increases to 10-25% for couples wanting a second conception after their first child. The percentage of couples of child bearing age seeking medical aid for infertility is as high as 15%. They usually try for about two years before asking for help. The percentage of females (amongst these couples) having problems with fertility is higher as compared to the males; it is 30-40% for females and 15-30%for males. Both individuals have perceptible anomalies in 15-30% of cases. The causes have been found to be idiopathic in 5-10% of the couples. WHO statistics say that 6-8 crore couples are infertile across the world.
As man has one of the least fecundity rates of all animals, achieving pregnancy is not quite straightforward. If money is not an issue, the process is relatively simpler due to modern technology. Conception is possible only during a brief period in the menstrual cycle, making the chances of a successful conception only 25% per month.
The ramifications of infertility can be devastating for any couple; it is not just a reproductive issue. It can have deep seated effects on the couple’s relationship with each other and also the people around them. Hence it is important to deal with it sensitively and cautiously.