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1 in 6 people around the world experience infertility issues, WHO says

Published by Axios. Read the full article.

Approximately one in six people experience infertility at some stage in their lives, according to a new report from the World Health Organization.

Why it matters: Despite the large number of people who are unable to have children, access to fertility treatments remains scarce due to “high costs, social stigma and limited availability,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom in the report.

  • Pascale Allotey, WHO’s director of sexual and reproductive health research, said in a press conference that the new numbers “highlight the need for infertility to be raised as a priority for universal health coverage.”
  • This is the first time in a decade that WHO releases a report on the prevalence of infertility, which it defined as “the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”

Details: WHO examined data from 1990 to 2021, finding that roughly one in six people globally — 17.5% — have been unable to have a child at some point in their lives.

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