One in six persons worldwide are infertile, according to the WHO

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Infertility affects many people throughout their lives, according to a new report released on Monday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

One in six adults worldwide, or around 17.5% of the adult population, suffer from infertility, according to the report, underscoring the critical need to expand access to high-quality, reasonably priced fertility care for individuals who are in need.

“The new estimates show limited variation in the prevalence of infertility between regions.

“The rates are comparable for high-, middle- and low-income countries, indicating that this is a major health challenge globally.

“Lifetime prevalence was 17.8 per cent in high income countries and 16.5 per cent in low- and middle income countries.”

The report, according to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, uncovered a crucial truth: infertility affects people of all ages equally.

“The sheer proportion of people affected show the need to widen access to fertility care and ensure this issue is no longer sidelined in health research and policy, so that safe, effective, and affordable ways to attain parenthood are available for those who seek it,” Ghebreyesus said.

He asserts that infertility is a disorder of the male or female reproductive system that is indicated by the inability to conceive after 12 months or more of continuous, unprotected sexual activity.

According to him, it can seriously impair people’s mental and psychosocial wellbeing and lead to substantial anguish, stigma, and financial difficulties.

The head of the WHO noted that despite the severity of the problem, solutions for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility—including assisted reproductive technology like In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)—remain underfunded and out of reach for many people due to high costs, social stigma, and a lack of access.

According to Ghebreyesus, most countries currently cover the majority of reproductive procedures out of pocket, which can have disastrous financial consequences.

He claimed that compared to persons in wealthy countries, those in the poorest countries spend a larger percentage of their income on fertility care.

According to Ghebreyesus, people are frequently prevented from receiving infertility treatments by excessive prices, or conversely, seeking care can push them into poverty.

According to Dr. Pascale Allotey, WHO’s Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, millions of people who seek treatment for infertility must pay exorbitant medical expenses, which is a significant equality issue and all too frequently a medical poverty trap for those affected.

Better public finance and policy, according to Allotey, can greatly increase access to treatment and prevent poorer households from becoming impoverished as a result.

She asserts that despite the new report’s solid proof of the significant prevalence of infertility around the world, it also brought attention to the persistent data dearth in many nations and some regions.

She noted that in order to assess infertility, identify those who required fertility care, and determine how risks could be minimized, the research recommended for increased availability of national data on infertility that is broken down by age and reason.

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