Changing lifestyle, smoking, erratic work routines and other lifestyle-related disorders are causing infertility among women, gynaecology experts said at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here Sunday.
"Women have switched to a faster lifestyle now. The stress is affecting their menstrual cycle and hormonal make-up, leading to infertility," said Abha Majumdar, director of the centre of Invitro human fertilisation (IVF) and human reproduction at Sir Ganga Ram hospital.
"Late marriages, mainly after 30 years of age, are another reason for infertility," she said.
Nearly 6-8 per cent couples are affected by infertility.
"Infertility is not considered as a life-threatening disease," said Suneeta Mittal, head of department of the premier institute`s obstetrics and gynecology department, at the third anniversary of the IVF unit at AIIMS.
"But the attention needs to be on it as there has been a lot of development and innovation on this front," she said.
"Social impact of childlessness is more in India. In western countries, the concept of IVF is widely used," Mittal said referring to the social stigma associated with childlessness in the country.
The technique used in IVF involves removing or harvesting eggs from a woman`s body and fertilising them in a laboratory. The woman is given hormone drugs to prepare her womb to receive the fertilised eggs that are then placed back inside the womb.
"Couples have deep misconceptions related to infertility. So they seek solutions from quacks. The point is that when we have advanced, dedicated IVF units in our country, why not popularise them," Majumdar pointed.
The symposium that saw participation from over 100 national and international experts included a live workshop on the latest techniques related to prevention, diagnosis, and early management of infertility such as assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Over 1,900 couples are enrolled with the IVF centre at AIIMS.