By: Sameer Showkin Lone
Srinagar,: Over three decades of conflict in Kashmir has not only taken a heavy toll on human lives, but has been a major reason for the increasing cases of infertility. Late marriages, drug abuse are also cited the other reasons.
According to medicos working in various hospitals, the numbers of infertility cases have increased at a pace, which is of very concern, over the years.
“We register three cases of infertility on daily basis, which means 90 cases in a month and 1080 cases in a year,” said a doctor at JVC Bemina.
Similarly, at valley’s lone maternity Lal Ded hospital, the number is quite high. A doctor in the hospital said the average cases will be in between 2500 to 3000 per year, which is quite alarming.
A large number of infertility cases are also reported at private clinics which mostly remain undocumented.
“Lot has been reported in media about it, but has fallen to deaf ears. Government should take the matter seriously and start some process to document the numbers. We have conflicting figures on it. A team needs to be constituted which can make the documentations of all the cases registered across the clinics and hospitals of the state,” said Dr Irshad Ahmed.
To conceive a child, more and more such couples who have married late are now switching to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
IVF is a technique where a sperm and an egg preferably from husband and wife are combined in a laboratory and then planted in the womb of the woman.
Not only women are suffering, men are suffering too and the number is high.
“The problems seen in men are erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and decreased sperm count,” said a doctor at SKIMS. He says half of the total infertility cases in Kashmir are due to a low sperm count and the reasons are ‘virtually unknown’.
Overuse of drugs also called pleasure drugs are believed to be the other reasons. “The drugs are bought and sold in whispers, said a druggist, adding, drugs from countless manufacturers have become the new commodity.
Health experts and medicos say that most of the infertility cases are an outcome of PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The main reason for PTSD in Kashmir is conflict as almost in every family one horrific incident has taken place, which has affected someone in that family.
A girl Sadia (name changed) is suffering from PTSD. Some ten years ago, a bomb had exploded in front of her. She had fallen unconscious. Though she had escaped unhurt, the shock was too much for her that changed her life after marriage.
“That scene recollects in my memory of its own and when such thing happens, I faint. I have to take anti- depressants ass doctors have diagnosed with PTSD,” she says.
The situation has now become that her in-laws also hate her for not being able to conceive a child.
She has a firm faith that “Only God can change things in her favour”.
“I have full faith upon my Allah. He, the all powerful, will bring happiness in my world one day,” she says.
As of now, Sadia sees a child playing in her lap only in her dreams.