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The World Health Organization Presents Unexpected Findings on Infertility.


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According to an important report by the World Health Organization, every sixth adult in the world suffers from infertility.

The UN agency released its first global assessment on the issue in more than a decade, saying the “absolute percentage” of those affected is evidence of the need to increase access to costly fertility treatments.

However, the team acknowledged that they cannot definitively say that infertility rates have risen over the past decade.
This is despite dire warnings that rising obesity and an aging population “threaten the very survival of humanity.”

Regionally, the Eastern Mediterranean, which includes the Middle East and North Africa, had the lowest infertility rate in the world at just 10.7%.

It is striking that one in six people in the world is infertile, according to a landmark WHO report

– Daily Mail Australia (@DailyMailAU) April 3, 2023

This means that only one in ten men and women will suffer from infertility at some point in their lives.

Infertility was defined as the absence of pregnancy after 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse.

The highest infertility rate of 23.2%, or almost a quarter of the population, was recorded in the Western Pacific. This region includes China and Japan, as well as countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

In Europe, including the UK, the infertility rate was 16.5%, or one in six.

In the Americas, the region that includes the United States, this number is about 20%, or one in five.

Overall, the World Health Organization said the global average is 17.5%.

This does not mean that these people will not be able to conceive, since infertile couples can use methods such as IVF to conceive.

However, the World Health Organization notes that access to fertility treatment is expensive. This means that it is not available in some parts of the world.

The report states that infertile women may face stigma and even violence due to society’s expectations of having children.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the report shows the scope of the infertility problem and the need to address it.

“The report reveals an important truth that infertility is not discriminatory,” he said. “The sheer proportion of people affected speaks to the need to expand access to fertility treatment and ensure that the issue is no longer marginalized in research and health policy in order to safe, effective and affordable ways to achieve parenthood are available to those who seek it.” “.

Dr. Pascal Allotti, Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health Research at the World Health Organization, added that a lack of affordable fertility treatment could lead families to financial ruin.

She said: “Millions of people face exorbitant health care costs after seeking fertility treatment, making this a major equity issue and often a medical poverty trap for those affected. Better policies and public funding can greatly improve access to treatment and protect poor families from infertility and fall into poverty because of this.”

The World Health Organization has calculated its own infertility rates by analyzing 133 high-quality studies from around the world conducted between 1990 and 2021.

However, they said that one of the main problems they found was the lack of consistent high quality data for many countries.

For example, they did not find good data for Southeast Asia that could be used to calculate an estimate for that region.

In addition, the vast majority of studies (109) analyzed infertility only in women, and only a few in men or couples as a whole.

The authors of the report said they had not studied the causes of infertility and were unable to determine whether the problem worsened over time.

“Based on the data we have, we cannot say that infertility is on the rise. Therefore, we must say that perhaps a decision on this issue has not yet been made, ”Dr James Kyari, head of the WHO for contraception and infertility treatment, told reporters.

The team said more research into infertility is needed to determine the obvious causes.

Known causes of infertility include genetic problems, medical conditions, hormonal problems, or exposure to certain treatments such as chemotherapy.

But, according to the NHS, in about a quarter of cases, the cause of infertility cannot be found.

Some studies have also pointed to increased obesity and exposure to chemicals and pollution as another possible factor.

The NHS Infertility Agency estimates that one in seven couples will struggle to conceive after trying for 12 months.

In the United States, infertility affects one in five women trying to conceive, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Treatment for infertility varies depending on the cause of the problem, with the option of surgery if there is a physical problem.

Fertility treatments such as IVF may be used if there is a problem with sperm or egg quality.

The WHO report deals only with infertility, and other factors also contribute to low birth rates in some countries.

Source: Daily Mail

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