A recent survey on infertility patterns in Indian cities has indicated that 46 per cent of couples in the age group 31-40 years were found to be infertile; and 49 per cent of the couples in the same age group from South India were infertile.

These are the results of the ‘Helping Families’ survey that was conducted in nine cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Agra and Kochi, among 2,562 respondents. The survey was undertaken with the aim of providing India-specific data with a large sample size, and information on attitudes and behaviours of Indian couples trying to start a family.

Of this, 75 per cent of the respondents across the country accepted the benefits of infertility treatment and are of the opinion that in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is safe and helps in conceiving healthy babies, according to a release. The same figure for the south was 80 per cent, and, 35 per cent of those found to be infertile have undergone IVF treatment and the rest were considering the option of fertility treatment, it added.

Some of the factors affecting fertility for males include low sperm count, poor motility and diabetes, while for women they could be rated as poly cystic ovarian disease, tubal factor, anovulation, endometriosis and thyroid problems, according to the survey.

Fertility experts who were contacted as part of the study opined that some of the contributing factors for high rates of infertility were lifestyle changes (smoking, alcohol), delayed marriages, delay in decision to have children, environmental changes, sexually transmitted diseases, and poor ovarian reserve.

The study was a joint effort of Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction, Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction and was supported by pharma major MERCK, which also offers products in the infertility category.

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