A recent survey by Ferring Pharmaceuticals has brought to light the extensive struggles couples in Asia face on their fertility journey. The survey, covering seven Asian markets including India, highlights the long and emotional path to conception, often compounded by a lack of knowledge and emotional support.
Long Journey to Parenthood
The average duration from the decision to conceive to successful conception was found to be 6.8 years, with an average of 3.6 years spent trying to conceive naturally. This duration is notably longer than the World Health Organization’s recommended timeline for seeking medical consultation for infertility. In India, the duration extends to an average of 4.5 years.
Knowledge Gap and Misconceptions
A significant lack of understanding about key fertility concepts was evident, with at least 70% of respondents from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam reporting low to moderate knowledge of infertility and conception. This gap in understanding contributes to delays in seeking medical help. The survey revealed several misconceptions, including overestimation of egg count and quality with age, and the belief that infertility is exclusive to women or irrelevant for those who already have a child.
The Emotional Toll of Infertility
The emotional impact of infertility was profound among respondents. The journey was marked by a mix of positive and negative emotions, often leading to considerable strain. The emotional burden and fear were frequently cited reasons for delaying or avoiding treatment. In India, about a quarter of the respondents cited emotional burden, fear, and lack of success as top barriers during their treatment journey.
The Role of Online Information and Emotional Support
The survey also found a heavy reliance on online platforms for fertility-related information, raising concerns about misinformation and bias. While financial support for fertility treatments is increasing in regions like Singapore, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, emotional support is still lacking, underscoring the need for better mental health prioritization in infertility treatment.
White Paper on Fertility in Asia
Ferring Pharmaceuticals’ white paper “Real Voices, New Insights: Eureka Moments for Fertility in Asia” aims to guide couples, the public, and governments in understanding the infertility journey. The paper, which integrates findings from the EUREKA survey and expert opinions, highlights the need for better education and community awareness to address the fertility challenges in Asia.