Thursday, 19 January 2012

Global Prevalence of Infertility

Infertility affects between 60 million and 168 million people worldwide; generally one in ten couples experience primary or secondary infertility. The majority of those who suffer this live in the developing world. Universally, the prevalence rises significantly (among women with no children) with a woman’s age. Worldwide rates of infertility vary dramatically corresponding to the incidence of preventable conditions leading to infertility – from a core prevalence of about 5% to rates as high the mid-30’s in sub-Saharan Africa. Rates of primary infertility are generally between 1% and 8% with rates
of secondary infertility reaching as high as 35%. The ‘Infertility Belt’ stretching across central and southern African has the world’s highest rates of infertility.

There are multiple difficulties inherent in assessing the occurrence of infertility. First, assessment and measurement is complicated by the fact that the condition is generally experienced by a couple, not an individual. There is also bias to identifying infertility; usually the desire or opportunity for pregnancy is required to be considered infertile. Finally no objective test or universally accepted definition for the condition exists. There is a general consensus that rates of infertility are underestimated because of difficulty in measuring prevalence, potentially flawed methods for measurement, and cultural biases which create hidden categories of the condition.

1 comment:

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