Infertility is a global problem, with one in six people affected, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). The report highlighted that little difference was found between high, middle, and low-income countries, with treatment being privately funded in most nations. The Agency urged countries to do more to help people conceive, as the lack of access to treatment leaves many individuals struggling with mental health and financial problems.
The WHO defines infertility as the inability to achieve pregnancy after at least 12 months of unprotected sex. The report couldn’t identify the leading cause of infertility as a lack of clinical data made it difficult to analyze. Infertility can have far-reaching negative impacts on people’s lives, according to Pascale Allotey, the WHO’s Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research.
Although the study didn’t allow researchers to determine whether infertility rates are increasing or decreasing globally, they didn’t find evidence of any increase in rates. The WHO praised countries such as Morocco, Indonesia, and Argentina for recent changes to how infertility is funded and treatments are made available.
The WHO will release guidelines later this year to help countries prevent, diagnose and treat infertility.