What factors affect natural conception in couples?

Dr Rajesh Koradia, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Infertility Specialist, Director of MIRA Hospital and IVF Centre, shares his insights upon the current trend of increase in IVF cases and its causes


In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs from a woman’s womb, retrieving a sperm sample of a man, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a glass dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus, hoping that it will result in a positive pregnancy

Today, IVF has emerged as a boon for many childless couples or those wanting to have a child which may not be possible due to a host of reasons. The technique is specialized, and hence requires a skilled set of hands to administer, along with some of the most sophisticated equipment. So, it raises the cost of the entire procedure drastically as compared to other assisted reproductive techniques.

IVF offers a ray of hope for the childless couples, and particularly for working couples by giving an option to conceive after or on the fringes of their ideal conception age.

Also, as more women join the workforce, they have started to cherish and focus on their career before embracing motherhood. Increasing age and deteriorating physical condition, due to stress and tensions of career, obesity, unhealthy lifestyle, are the impediments faced by these women when they decide to conceive. The non-working women also face the rise in infertility due to obesity, unhealthy lifestyle, stress, and tensions of family.

There is a rise in infertility level in men as well, due to various factors like sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drinking, and substance abuse, and of course, the stress and tensions of careers.

It is a known fact that no two human beings are the same, so are their reproductive capacities. In some cases, perfectly healthy couples fail to conceive without known medical complication or reason, while on the other hand, there are instances where the unlikely couples conceive with ease.

So, what are the crucial factors that determine the success of natural and assisted conception?

The couple’s age – It is the first factor, as it has a direct correlation with the couples health, and ability to conceive. However, with techniques like IVF, this factor is losing its relevance.

Stress levels – The modern-day bane, it is the by-product of human development and impacts both sexes equally.

Medical ailments – It plays a vital role before conception in both sexes, and for women after conceiving.

Physical condition – An significant factor which impacts the chances of success in both natural and assisted conception.

Sedentary lifestyle – With little or no physical activity, sedentary lifestyle of humans is negatively impacting the fertility levels in both men and women.

Addictions: Rising addiction to smoking, drinking, and other harmful substances, slowly but surely, impact a person’s physical well-being.

When it comes to conception, mother-nature does not differentiate between a person, gender, or their working status. As mentioned above, there are a host of factors beyond a person’s career status, that comes into play when it comes to conception. IVF should be seen as an attempt to control some of these factors to achieve success.

Unfortunately, due to its specialized nature, IVF today perceived as a costly activity. It is this cost factor that creates a misconception that it is the working couples, who opt to go for IVF since they have the financial means to go for it.

Also, not many are aware that infertility also exists in men. Hence, the moment a couple goes in for assistance, it is easily misconstrued that the woman is infertile. However, the reality may be different.

Infertility is not an urban phenomenon. It is observed across the country, irrespective of urban/ rural areas, genders, income levels, and others. Besides IVF, there are many other assisted reproductive techniques available for couples to conceive. However, due to its precision, IVF has emerged as the last hope of couples wanting to conceive.

It is correct to conclude that a person’s working status has no bearing on her preference towards IVF. There are other factors besides career, which are present in both working and non-working couple that creates the need for advanced assisted reproductive techniques like IVF. IVF is seen as the last resort before they start losing hope of experiencing parenthood.