Dr Aradhya Achuri
Why is Infertility so Taboo?
Updated: Feb 21
Even though one in every six couples suffers from infertility, the subject is still a major taboo in India.
This makes the couple hesitant in finding the right infertility specialist who can counsel and guide them in the right direction.
Studies show that 40% of infertility cases were related to men, 40% to women and 20% were attributed to both sexes. Yet, it is usually viewed as a woman’s problem. Inauspicious, unlucky are some of the words associated with female infertility in our society. Many women are ill-treated, abused by their family and society for being unable to bear children. It is because of this cultural and social stigma that infertility is often suffered in silence. Recognising that the male partner could be infertile can go a long way in reducing the trauma and stress of infertility and helps in early diagnosis and treatment.
Couples often feel ashamed to talk about the struggles they have faced and many a time hesitate in consulting the right specialists, who can help them in finding the right treatment. The most common advice that is doled out is to not talk about the tabooed topic or seek help.
Right from the knowledge about menstrual cycle, fertile period to how intercourse happens and how pregnancy occurs, there is lacuna in our education. Talking or discussing about them is frowned upon in the society. This leds to delay in a realising that there is an issue as well as approaching a doctor until its too late.
Infertility is like any other disease that needs addressing and treatment. There are many treatments available now like IUI, IVF/ICSI, laparoscopy, hysteroscopy etc , which can help many couples.
Support, reassurance, a safe space to discuss it and seek help without feeling judged or stigmatized can go a long way in helping a couple dealing with infertility. Lets be that change. Lets erase this taboo.