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Infertility has always been an issue that afflicts a silent minority of men and women worldwide. It results from a myriad of physiological issues, and oftentimes the cause is unknown. It is a taboo topic that should be addressed especially with its prevalence, as the statistics below show.
Infertility- A Common Problem?
- In the US out of 100 couples, about 12 or 13 have trouble conceiving. (NIH, 2018)
- 6.1 million women in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty becoming pregnant or staying pregnant. (OASH, 2021)
- One in six couples will have trouble achieving pregnancy. (Fertilitycenter, 2020)
- The chance of achieving successful pregnancy for fertile couples is 20% after trying for a month, 57% after trying for three months 75% within six months, 90% within one year and 95% within two years of attempting pregnancy. (Fertilitycenter, 2020)
- Secondary infertility, where women have already had one child but have trouble conceiving another affects one in six women. (ivi-fertility, 2021)
- Globally, one in six adults experience infertility at one stage in their lives. (WHO, 2023)
- The estimated lifetime prevalence of infertility is 17.5%. (WHO, 2023)
- The highest lifetime prevalence is reported in the Western Pacific region (23.2%) and the lowest in the Mediterranean region (10.7%). (WHO, 2023)
- The prevalence is similar across different income levels, at 17.8% for high-income countries and 16.5% for middle- and low-income countries. (WHO, 2023)
- In the US, about one in five women between 15 to 49 years old with no prior births deal with infertility. (CDC, 2023)
- Among women with one or more prior births, 6% between 15 to 29 experience infertility. (CDC, 2023)
- 22% of married couples, or one in five, in which the woman is between 30 to 39 years old, have problems getting pregnant for the first time. Among couples in which the woman is younger than 30, the percentage is 13%. (CDC, 2023)
Male & Female Factors
- Infertility affects men and women equally (15 million people in the U.S. annually). (Fertilitycenter, 2020)
- One-third of infertility cases are caused by fertility problems in women, one-third by men, the other cases are a mixture of male and female problems or unknown cause. (NIH, 2018)
- Most common factors that increase men’s risk of infertility are old age (above 40 years), being overweight, smoking, excessive alcohol use, and use of marijuana. (CDC, 2022)
- In about 35% of couples with infertility, a male factor is identified along with a female factor. (CDC*)
- In about 8% of couples with infertility, a male factor is the only identifiable cause. (CDC*)
- In 75% of cases, the underlying reason for male infertility remains unknown. (UNSW, 2022)
In Vitro Fertilization
- More than 8 million babies have been born as a result of IVF treatment (CNN, 2018)
- The average cost of IVF treatment in the US is $12,400. (Reproductivefacts, 2023)
- Two-thirds of couples are going through IVF treatment with zero insurance coverage for therapy. (Fertilityanswers, 2022)
- More than 85,000 women go through IVF annually. (RRC, 2014)
- Some insurance companies provide various levels of IVF treatment coverage. (RRC, 2014)
- Women conceiving through IVF are 17% more likely to have multiple births. (ivi-fertility, 2021)
- Since 1978, more than 10 million babies have been born with IVF. (ESHRE, 2022)
- The cause behind one in three IVF cycles is male infertility. (UNSW, 2022)
- IVF was used to treat male infertility in 7% of cycles due to a prior vasectomy, while in 2.4% of cases, ART was utilized after the male spouse had cancer treatment. (UNSW, 2022)
- IVF’s success rate in the US is measured separately depending on the woman’s age. Thus, among women younger than 35, the success rate is 41.6%. Among women between 35-37, the rate is 29.6%, 18.7% for those between 38-40, 9.2% for those between 41-42, and 2.8% for those older than 42 (SART, 2020)
- The average cost of a single IVF cycle is $12,000 to $14,000. (Forbes, 2023)
Causes of Female Infertility
- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of female infertility, affecting almost 6.1 million women. (Womenshealth, 2021)
- 35% of female infertility can be linked to tubal factors. (Fertilityanswers, 2022)
- 13% of female infertility is linked to tobacco and cigarette use. (ASRM, 2018)
- One-third of couples where the woman is older than 35 years have fertility problems. (CDC*)
- Ovulation disorders account for one in four infertility problems. (Mayoclinic, 2014)
- The most common cause of female infertility is PCOS, affecting as many as 5 million, or 6-12% of women of reproductive age in the US. (CDC, 2022)
- Between 10% to 30% of women who seek help with infertility have diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). (WebMD, 2021)
- Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA) is another common female infertility factor that affects about 1.62 million women in the US and 17.4 million women worldwide. (Cleveland Clinic, 2022)
- Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) affects around 1% of women under 40 and 0.1% of women under 30 years old. (PubMed, 2021)
- Approximately 30%-40% of women have tubal blockage. (PubMed, 2022)
- 7.4 million, or 11.9% of women have received infertility services in their lifetime. (CDC, 2017)
- 90% of infertility cases can be treated with medical therapies, such as drug treatment, surgical repair of reproductive organs and assisted reproductive techniques such as intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization. (Fertilityanswers, 2022)
- 9% of men have reported seeing a fertility doctor at least once. (CDC, 2022)
- One in four attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF) results in a successful pregnancy and birth. (Jamanetwork, 2001)
- 368,502 IVF cycles were performed in 2021 in the US. (SART, 2022)
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*We’re using an archived version of the page as the source.
Written by Shortlister editorial team
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