‘Up to 20pc couples face infertility issues but don’t seek treatment’

Karachi:Infertility is a growing health issue in Pakistan as between 15 and 20 percent couples do not have children due to reproductive disorders. But instead of consulting the qualified physicians and health experts most of the people make their way to “Babas” and “Hakeems” who ruin their lives.“If a newly-wed couple doesn’t have a child after a year of successful and satisfying married life, they should consult a qualified physician, who would direct them to experts to check for infertility disorders. Infertility is now curable up to 80 percent but couples should avoid visiting Bengali Babas and Hakeems,” Prof Dr Nusrat Shah of Civil Hospital Karachi said while addressing a seminar on infertility at the PMA House Karachi yesterday.

The awareness seminar titled “Infertility – Is it treatable” was held as part of the pre-event sessions of Pak-China MEDCONG being held in Karachi from January 8 till 10.Experts who addressed the awareness activity also included prominent gynaecologists Dr Sher Shah Syed and Dr Kaneez Fatima, besides the PMA Karachi president Dr Shaukat Malik.Dr Nusrat Shah said in the 15 to 20 percent of couples who faced infertility issues; in 40 percent of the cases the medical problems was with men as compared to 30 percent women. In the remaining 30 percent cases, he said, both husband and wife had certain infertility problems.“But in most of the cases, women are victimised even for the infertility issue of their spouse, due to social customs and taboos,” she said. “Men facing infertility issues can’t have children despite marrying multiple times. Almost 80 percent cases of infertility can be now treated successfully due to good choice of drugs and scientific interventions.”

Dr Nusrat Shah also stressed the need for addressing the growing incidence of infertility in Pakistan and said the number of cases had increased. “Nowadays we are examining young girls aged between 19 and 22 years with polycystic ovarian disease leading to infertility. Such girls start developing moustaches and thick hair growth on their faces,” she said.Dr Sher Shah Syed said 15 percent of infertile couples were not diagnosed with any deficiency but were still unable to conceive. In such cases, he advised, they should go for having a test-tube baby. “Some men do not have sperm at all and the doctors cannot help them,” he added.

Speakers on the occasion, called for creating awareness on the issue since due to taboos associated with the problem, many couples who faced minor issues ended up making life difficult for themselves.

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