A latest survey showed that the rate of childless couples in the country has gone up by 8 percent or a total of one million Vietnamese couples.
This upward trend is worrisome as even medical experts warn of more and more couples in the country facing infertility.
The survey also pointed out that in some regions of the country the rate of childless couples was higher, such as in Hanoi with 13 percent and the central province of Khanh Hoa with 14 percent.
Infertility puts a lot of pressure on Vietnamese women and affects the quality of their marriage. X.Hoa, 35, a director of a private company in the northern province of Hai Phong, said although he married more than three years back, he is still issueless because both he and his wife suffer from a problem in the reproductive system.
The National Maternity Hospital in Hanoi used to receive only five such couples a week, which has now increased to 10 infertile couples a week for treatment.
Noticeably, the Hanoi-based Military Hospital's Embryo Technology Center treats around 10,000 childless couples annually. Doctor Quan Hoang Lam, the center's director, said the demand for infertility treatment is increasing and most infertile couples are between the ages of 25-32.
According to scientists, stress, improper diet, and consuming contaminated food are the main causes of infertility. Even living in a contaminated or unhealthy environment can cause infertility.
Infertility in men can be attributed to low sperm count, up to 90 percent, and the condition can be brought on by work pressure, alcohol and smoking.
More worrisome, infertility in women can be caused by unsafe sex resulting in infection in sexual organs, leading to miscarriages and abortions. Statistics show the rate of Vietnamese women undergoing abortion is around 32 percent or one million cases a year. This is the highest rate of abortion in women in the world.
Health Deputy Minister Nguyen Viet Tien said infertility is a grave challenge for the country.
Vietnam now has a total of 14 centers for infertility treatment. Skilled physicians in these centers are as good as their counterparts in the world with a higher rate of success of 35-40 percent or even 50 percent in Tu Du and the National Maternity Hospital, along with lower cost of VND60 million (US$2,867) while it is more than $15,000 in the US.