What are the Actions Taken by Countries to Address Infertility?
The primary question may be what factors are causing infertility on such a wide spread level and what are the treatment options for various continents? While some countries offer a wide variety of services, such as the United States and England, others are limited on what fertility options, if any, they are allowing citizens to avail themselves of numerous reproductive services, including IVF treatments that could involve gender selection, preimplantation Diagnosis or donor egg and/or sperm.
According to the China Digital Times, pollution is a serious cause of infertility among many Chinese. There is no hiding the fact that China has a serious air quality problem within many of their regions and this is thought to have an impact on the endocrinology of women. This has caused a major problem in a country that still enforces a single child per family rule. Without an heir, couples are often wrapped in emotional turmoil and shame. CNN attempted to find couples that would discuss matters of infertility. What they found was that most Chinese couples will not openly talk about fertility challenges and indicated that they were more apt to resort to acupuncture and herbal methods before considering any western medicine intervention. Also, laws in China made the stress around infertility even more significant due to the easy availability of a divorce if the couple is unable to conceive three years after marriage. The cultural aspects towards fertility made seeking western medicine treatment outside of the country a more viable option for those who can afford it. Despite many attempts, CNN could only find ONE couple that would discuss their infertility journey which resulted in a set of twin boys following IVF. (And, they refused to be photographed or appear on camera without having their face blurred.)
Other countries, such as Japan, also have significant environmental factors that have impacted the success of couples to conceive. Especially, in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake which caused a devastating tsunami and the ongoing concern of securing the integrity and safety of their Fukushima nuclear plant. These factors have lead to some families either not being able to have children or fearful of becoming pregnant due to exposure to radiation. (Such as in the case of couples who lived near or worked in the Fukushima nuclear plant) However, there is a Catch – 22 now surfacing, as the nuclear fallout is thought to have attributed negatively to the reproductive health of scores of Japanese due to radiation exposure and more, however, currently there exists fertility treatment restrictions that disallow options for couples, such as donor egg IVF treatments or analysis as to the genetic health of embryos. Therefore, those from Japan who wish to avail themselves of these high tech fertility treatments are looking towards other countries for fertility assistance, such as the United States, especially in states that are nearest such as Hawaii.
Coming Soon – Why Do Couples with Infertility Challenges Come to Hawaii?
About the author
Louise Sattler is a Psychologist who specializes in multicultural education and media.
Authors Note: As an advocate for women’s health, I wrote this blog to provide information and bring attention to the matters of infertility on a global level. I was compensated for my expertise.