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Infertility on the Rise: 1 in 6 are Infertile, Study Says
January 14, 2013
A new study says 1 in 6 couples are diagnosed with infertility; a rise from previous data that quotes the disease affects 1 in 8.
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after well-timed intercourse by the following guidelines:
- Under the age of 35, trying to conceive for one year without success
- Over the age of 35, trying to conceive for six months without success
The research, conducted by the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland, analyzed data from the interviews of over 7,600 women, ages 15 to 44, in 2002. Almost 300 of these women were actively trying to conceive. The results were obtained by estimating the number of infertile couples out of all the other couples within the sample (approximately 7%) and by another method of looking at women who were not preventing pregnancy and had not recently given birth (approximately 16%), who could not get pregnant despite one year of well-timed intercourse with their partners.
These findings echo recent data from ASRM’s journal, Fertility and Sterility, which says 12-18% of women have trouble conceiving.
Fertility doctors speculate that this data more accurately represents the actual infertility rate than the previous 1 in 8 statistic. The rise in infertility is possibly linked to delayed childbearing resulting in age-related infertility as men and women pursue careers before family building, or environmental impacts on fertility.