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Male Infertility in India and Treatments Available

Updated on August 3, 2016

Infertility in India

The fertility rate in India is on the decline, says an article in the Hindu. Statistics also show that India will reach replacement levels of fertility by 2020. In about eight states in the country, the fertility rate has already reached below 2 children per woman. According to Dr. P. Arokiasamy, a demographer and Professor at the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), “At 2.3, India is now just 0.2 points away from reaching replacement levels. Fertility is declining rapidly, including among the poor and illiterate. At these rates, India will achieve its demographic transition and reach replacement levels as early as 2020 or 2022.”

According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of infertility in India ranges between 3.9% and 16.8%. It was also reported that around 40% of infertility cases were related to male problems, 40% because of female problems and around 20% because of problems in both partners. In a recent survey, these statistics slightly varied and hinted towards male problems being the cause of 50% of the infertility cases in India.

“It is believed that 10% of the general population suffers from some form of infertility. Given that India has a population of over 1.2 billion, the number of Indians suffering from infertility is huge,” said Dr. Jaideep Malhotra, the President-Elect of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction.

Male Infertility

Infertility is an issue that can be caused by conditions in either the male or female partner. According to the National Institute of Health, male infertility can be caused by a change in sperm concentration or mobility. Around the world, male infertility affects a total of 7% of all men. The reason for this infertility can be the deficiencies in the semen or the semen quality. The WHO has set certain parameters for the quality of sperm and males testing below these are believed to have the infertility factor.

These parameters are:

  • Volume of the sperm: 1.5 mL (95% CI: 1.4–1.7)
  • Sperm concentration: 15 million spermatozoa/mL (95% CI: 12–16)
  • Total number of sperm: 39 million spermatozoa per ejaculate (95% CI: 33–46)
  • Morphology of sperm: 4% normal forms (95% CI: 3–4), using “strict” Tygerberg method
  • Vitality of sperm: 58% live (95% CI: 55–63)
  • Progressive motility of sperm: 32% (95% CI: 31–34)
  • Total (progressive + nonprogressive motility): 40% (95% CI: 38–42).

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences reported that the sperm count of normal Indian adult male which used to be 60 million/ml back in the 1980s is at around 20 million/ml in 2015.

Treatments

With the advancements medical technology has made in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology, there are various treatment options for male infertility in India. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI is one such treatment, which helps infertile couples with male infertility issues conceive. It is among the most successful fertility treatments, which when combined with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) gives the desired result for a couple. In this process, a healthy sperm is selected and is then injected into a single mature egg. India is among the most preferred destinations in the world for IVF and ICSI procedures on account of the best facilities and the lower cost. There are specialists who carry out some of the best ICSI procedures in Bangalore, ensuring a higher success rate for the process, say experts. The success rate recorded for ICSI in Bangalore is among the highest in the country so far, making the city a fertility hub for the country!

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