The World Health Organization (WHO) defines infertility as a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
Infertility is a global problem that affects millions of couples worldwide every year. According to a WHO report infertility affects 8-10% couples worldwide accounting for nearly 60-80 Million couples worldwide. India accounts for about 25% of the cases (~15-20 Million couples).
In developing countries, this problem is faced by 1 in every 4 couples.
Infertility by gender
According to Mayo Clinic of all the infertility cases, one-third of cases are due to Men, One third is due to Women and the rest is due to unexplained infertility.
Global Fertility Rate
Total fertility rate or fertility rate is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime
According to UN World Population Prospects 2019 over the past years, the world has seen a decline in fertility rate.
The fertility rate has fallen from 6.3 in 1births per woman in 1990 to 4.6 (2.5 live births) births per woman in 2019 worldwide. The rate is further expected to fall from 2.5 live births to 2.2 live births by 2050 and 1.9 by 2100
Fertility rate in India
The fertility rate in India is falling as well, According to a live mint report, the fertility rate has fallen from 2.2 in 2017 after being stable at 2.3 from 2013-2016. As per the latest government record, this rate is 10 basis points away from falling to 2.1.
Fertility trends rural vs urban
In rural areas, the fertility rate has fallen from 5.4 to 2.4. Data reveals that fertility in all the age groups is higher in rural areas than in urban areas. The fertility rate in urban areas varies from 1.6 in Tamil Nadu and Delhi to 3.3 in Bihar.
Why is infertility on a rise?
Pinpointing the cause behind the rise of infertility is what some might say finding a needle in the haystack. The rise of infertility can be associated with many factors like deteriorating lifestyle, Smoking, Alcohol, Drugs, Stress, Nutritional imbalances have all contributed towards increasing infertility.
The average age of marriages is also starting to shift to a much older age. More couples are getting married in their 30s when fertility in a woman starts decreasing.
These problems have started making their way to Tier-2 and Tier-3 which is making the problem of infertility to rise in rural areas also