Overview of Subfertility
Infertility, though not life threatening, causes intense mental agony and trauma that can only be best described by infertile couples themselves. There are no detailed figures of the extent of infertility prevalent in India but a multinational study carried out by WHO that included India, places the incidence of infertility between 10 and 15%. Out of a population of 1000 million Indians, an estimated 25% (250 million individuals) may be conservatively estimated to be attempting parenthood at any given time; by extrapolating the WHO estimate, approximately 13 to 19 million couples are likely to be infertile in the country at any given time. Most types of infertility such as reproductive tract infections and genital tuberculosis, are preventable and amenable to treatment. About 8% of infertile couples, however, need serious medical intervention involving the use of advanced ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) procedures such as IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) or ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). The success rate of any ART procedure is below 30% under the best of circumstances. Infertility, specially in our country, also has far-reaching societal implications.