Drugs affecting sexual health of couples
Drug addiction in Punjab has begun to impact the sexual health of young couples with infertility experts citing it as a reason for 15-20 per cent of them unable to have children.Dr Asmita Bhambri, an infertility specialist based at Mohali, who earlier worked at DMC, Ludhiana, says 20 per cent couples visiting her clinic can’t have children because the man is hooked on drugs. “Most of these patients are from Nawanshahr, Garhshankar and Moga. Further, in 10 per cent drug-related infertility cases, there is no improvement in the male sperm count despite de-addiction and medication.”Infertility expert with the Chandigarh PGI Dr Shalini Gainder says the institute has not carried out any research on the subject. “But it has been observed that sperms of addicts have no motility and poor survival chances. We discourage donor sperm in addiction cases.” Dr Suman Puri from Ludhiana too says sexual dysfunctioning in addicts is common.Jalandhar-based Dr Jasmine Dahiya, an IVF ( in-vitro fertilisation) expert, claims at least 100 infertile couples visit her clinic every month. “In at least 15 such cases, drug addiction emerges as the key factor. Dr Dahiya has been conducting a study on the “Phenomenon of decreasing sperm count in Punjabi males”. The conclusions of the study are expected in two-three months.Another Jalandhar-based IVF expert Dr Shveta Nanda says very few Punjabi women had infertility issues in the past. “But with drug addiction among Punjabi men becoming common, infertility rate has gone up for both men and women.” Former Indian Medical Association (IMA) president and gynaecologist Dr Sushma Chawla agrees with her.“It has become increasingly important to counsel the male partner prior to any infertility treatment. A couple from Tarn Taran visited my clinic recently. I had a hard time counselling the man that he must quit drugs not only to father a child but to also keep fit to earn enough money to raise the child,” she told The Tribune.