Improper lifestyle is giving as many as 16 out of 100 couples in Jharkhand primary infertility, according to a survey by the the coal belt chapter of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI).
The study, conducted between January 30 and February 28 at medical college hospitals, private nursing homes and government hospitals across Jharkhand, found that primary infertility cases ranged between 3.9% and 16.8% among couples in the state with Ranchi, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur and other urban areas reporting a majority of these cases.
The survey found the rate alarming, but suggested that it could be handled through a positive change in lifestyle.
“Stress, late marriage, lack of physical exercise, obesity, smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, exposure to environmental and occupational hazards have increased the infertility rate in urban areas. Poor hygiene, inadequate nutrition and infection are major causes of infertility in rural areas,” said Sangita Karan, a gynaecologist.
She said lifestyle played a key role in determining the reproductive health and could positively or negatively influence infertility.
Moreover, late parenthood also increased the risk of infertility. But a disciplined and healthy lifestyle could tackle this problem, she said.
“Though the main symptom of infertility in females is the inability to get pregnant, both men and women are equally responsible for it,” she said, adding irregular or absence of menstrual periods or facial hair in females and hormonal problems such as changes in hair growth, reduced sexual desire, are also considered to be the causes of infertility.
According to the World Health Organisation, at present an estimated 60 to 80 million couples worldwide suffer from infertility. A couple below 35 years of age must consult doctors if a woman fails to conceive after one year of marriage, the doctor suggested.
"Medical science has seen a sea-change so now infertility is not a problem and even a woman without a uterus can become a mother," she said.