-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- There's been little change
in global rates of infertility over the past 20 years, according to
a new study.
In 2010, nearly 50 million couples worldwide were unable to
conceive a child after five years of trying, according to the study
published online Dec. 18 in the journal
For the study, researchers examined 277 national surveys in
order to estimate the infertility levels in 190 countries between
1990 and 2010.
The analysis revealed that in 2010, 1.9 percent of women aged 20
who wanted to have children were unable to have their first live
birth (primary infertility), and 10.5 percent of women who had
previously given birth were unable to have another baby (secondary
That works out to a total of 48.5 million couples worldwide,
study leader Gretchen Stevens, of the World Health Organization,
and colleagues explained in a journal news release.
Infertility levels in 1990 and 2010 were similar, with only a
0.1 percent decrease in primary infertility and a 0.4 percent
increase in secondary infertility over the time period, the
Primary infertility rates varied by region, ranging from 1.5
percent in Latin America and the Caribbean to 2.6 percent in North
Africa and the Middle East in 2010. In general, country and global
patterns of secondary infertility were similar to those of primary
"In the absence of widespread data collection on time to pregnancy, the methods used and results presented [in this study] provide valuable insights into global, regional and country patterns and trends in infertility," the study authors concluded in the news release.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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