J&K has lowest fertility in India, records 0.6% decline in 5 years

By: Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar: The National Family Health Survey for 2019-21 has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir has the lowest fertility in whole India and has recorded a decline of 0.6 per cent fertility rate since 2015-16.

Experts in Jammu and Kashmir believe that there are many reasons for infertility but the most common reasons are late marriage, knowledge of contraception, obesity, change of lifestyle and use of junk food.

Dr Farhat Jabeen head of department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at GMC Srinagar said that there are multiple reasons behind increase in infertility in J&K and most common is late marriages as when the age advances the problem associated with fertility escalates.

“Poverty, unemployment, dowry, the tradition of extravagant weddings, roadblocks to higher education, and wait for government jobs are some of the key reasons for the disturbing late marriage trend,” she said, adding that the peak fertility of girls is between 18 years and 25 years, and it is not unusual for girls to get married nowadays in their late 20s or 30s, by when there is already a significant decline in their fertility.

The problem of infertility is perceived more of a female problem, but experts say that men are responsible for this problem, either solely or partly in almost half of the cases.

She said polycystic ovary (ovarian) syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age which is increasing, obesity, lifestyle modifications, change in food habits and diabetes are also contributing to infertility.

Jabeen said there is a need to have a system in place in society, avoid late marriages, change food habits, control weight in order to avoid decline in fertility.

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. It is a complication often caused by some STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Other infections that are not sexually transmitted can also cause PID.

Experts said that PID is common now and it is because when you have more than one sex partner and use an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control.

Jabeen said that abortion cases have increased and septic abortion conducted by an untrained person and often leads to infection in genital tract and leads to infertility.

Dr Jyoti Haq HOD of Obstetrics and Gynecology at GMC Jammu while talking with KNO said that contraception that is the deliberate use of artificial methods or other techniques to prevent pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse is main reason for the increase in infertility.

“Besides that lack of knowledge about contraception and less awareness is also one of the reasons for infertility in J&K,” Haq said.

She said that obesity, late marriage, chronic sitting, fast food, waiting for jobs and delaying child births are also reasons for infertility.

“Marriage at an appropriate time, awareness among the well read ladies that what is the right age of marriage, change in lifestyle, exercise are must to avoid further decline in it,” Jabeen said.

Experts believe that other causes of infertility among women include disturbance of oocyte maturation, tubal factor infertility, endometriosis, abnormalities of ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the uterus and antibodies against oocytes or sperm.

“The reasons for infertility in men include disturbances of sperm maturation and sperm transport disorders. Around 15 to 30 percent of the affected couples the causes for infertility can be found in both partners. In 5 to 10 percent cases no organic cause can be found neither in the men nor in the women. In this situation stress may be the cause,” experts said. (KNO)

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