Indian culture - Its influence on fertility
In any society, reproductive behaviour is as much a social matter as it is individual. A number of factors are influenced by traditional cultural practices. To name a few, marriage and its significance, sexual behaviour, approach to reproduction, nutrition, societal attitude towards childlessness and gender, community perception of fertility treatment, and acceptance of failure.
India - the world’s largest democracy - is an amalgamation of a variety of different cultural practices. However, there is a striking similarity amongst various cultures with respect to the significance of marriage and child bearing. Most cultures consider marriage to be a sacred institution that joins two individuals for life, so that they can pursue duties, possessions, physical desires and ultimately spiritual release together. Parenthood is considered to be a true indicator of a "happy married life". Unlike some other cultures, fertility and child bearing in India is widely assumed to be restricted to married couples. A patriarchal structure ‐ wherein generations of a family often live under the same roof, is a common form of existence in India. Traditionally, there is an expectation from the older generation to look after and provide for the younger generation, and a return of favour from the younger generation upon reaching adulthood. Childlessness can have significant effects in the form of its impact on the future of a marriage, expectations of grandparents and other family members, loss of self-esteem (especially for the female), superstitious beliefs and blame. Access to and utilisation of fertility treatments are influenced by a number of factors, some of the important ones being education levels, stigma associated with infertility and fertility treatment, empowerment of women in regards to decision making, religious beliefs and financial constraints. There is significant variability with respect to concepts such as the "beginning of life" and the status of an embryo or a foetus.
At Genea, our staff respect and understand the importance of the family unit and are aware of and sensitive to a variety of cultural beliefs and requirements. We endeavour to accommodate all reasonable requests without compromising treatment outcomes and success rates. We understand that fertility and reproduction can be a very private issue for many individuals and couples, and it is of utmost importance to us to maintain this privacy. We recognise that there is a cumulative social, cultural and traditional impact on fertility, beyond the direct effects of personal behaviour.
After all, Genea means family.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a Genea Group blog and as such information may not be relevant for all clinics. We advise that you consult clinics directly for further information.