Modern India & The Fertility Puzzle
You might find it hard to digest if I say that India has a growing fertility problem that needs attention. That’s because the focus is almost always on the growing population and the problems that come with it. With already over 1.3billion people, we’re likely to be the most populous country in the world in the coming years. And not to forget, India is also known as the land of the Kamasutra. The right to procreate is even called out as a fundamental right. Therefore, talking about fertility issues is not really top of mind. But those who go through this challenge know what the struggle is like.
Recent statistics indicate that infertility in both men and women in our country has gone up and almost 1 in 10 couples struggle with infertility. That’s a staggering number of couples in both urban and rural setups in the country who are unable to conceive a child.
Why infertility exists? That’s a very loaded question. The reasons for infertility can be hard to list down. That’s pretty much why it’s called the Fertility Puzzle. In some cases simple and quite a riddle in others. If you don’t have any known medical conditions and consult a doctor, they will most likely ask you to “try” and come back later. That’s the most basic recommendation, but sometimes that’s all it takes. I’ve personally heard of stories of couples taking a vacation together and then announcing a pregnancy soon after. In our hectic lifestyles today, just getting time together also becomes an issue.
Not everyone is so lucky though. For a lot of couples, the issues may be more deep-rooted. Common medical issues can include PCOS in women, Sperm count/mobility issues in men and hormonal imbalances in both. Medical examinations also at times can’t really reveal the true causes for this challenge. Not meaning to paint a really dark picture here, but that’s really the truth of the matter for many couples.
One sincere hope is that we as a society become more sensitive towards this topic. Next time you pop the question to a couple “when is the baby coming,” just pause. Your simple question could come at the expense of discomfort to a someone who is trying everything in the book to have a baby but can’t.
One more thing I have to explicitly highlight, fertility is not just woman’s problem. Both men and women have an equal chance of having fertility issues. But the society seems to only label women in the crudest forms for not being able to conceive. The last thing couples struggling to conceive need is more stress from these stigmas. This is a medical/lifestyle issue like any other. I certainly dream of a society where people dealing with issues like reproductive health or mental health don’t have to face embarrassment. Wouldn’t it be cool of all of these “investigative” energies went into spreading awareness?
Like they say with any sickness, prevention is better than cure. The same goes for reproductive health as well. If you Google for some charts showing reasons for infertility in India, you’ll notice large pieces of the pie go to lifestyle and diet. So what exactly falls under lifestyle and diet?
Again there’s no checklist here to tick off. Just a few ways of life for us to give a second thought to and alter. Our generation has really become used to a fast pace of life. If we just slow down, we will instinctively know what parts of our lifestyle need to be changed. Stress is proven to interfere with the process of conception. Which kind of proves the theory of couples going on vacations and coming back pregnant. Vacations are usually free from stress and relaxed. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could create such an ambiance in our day to day lives?
Our diet is another hot topic of discussion when it comes to general health and more specifically reproductive health. Our fast lifestyle, demands fast food options which don’t end up being the healthiest for our system. A lot of times such food habits lead to obesity and hormonal issues which can interfere with conception. Add to that, the commercialization of food leading to compromise on its quality really has an impact.
Back in the day, every household had their own cow and all the dairy food products were made from the same cow’s milk. Fast forward to now, we don’t always know the background of the packaged milk that we consume every day. A huge range of health issues are being reported as a result of consuming milk from cows that are being injected with hormones to increase production. Safer food options, like organic milk, are really the need of the hour.
The same applies to other agricultural products as well. Chemical substances used to grow our food find their way into our bodies and really hamper the reproductive health. They send wrong signals to the endocrine system that is responsible for managing the hormones in our body leading to hormonal imbalances.
Our ancestors didn’t really have access to any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The foods they grew were pure and organic, grown using the most natural farming methods. Cow-based farming was the norm and there was no need for any chemicals. The manure from the cows formed an excellent natural fertilizer making the soil richer. The animals that helped the farmers were well cared for, just like members of the family. The entire ecosystem just made sense and it needs to be brought back. Which is why we need to start showing support to businesses that are choosing to go organic.
Instead, fertility clinics are mushrooming in every locality to help couples conceive. If given a choice, I’m sure we would choose natural remedies for all our health problems. I agree that making some of these life changes may be hard at first and there are no guarantees. But at least we can give our body the kind of care it deserves.
Signing off with the hope that fewer people need cures and that these issues can be prevented. Especially as the younger generation matures, they need to have a better chance for a healthy future. In our next blog, we’ll talk about some natural alternatives to good reproductive health.