A staggering 1 in 6 Americans of childbearing age are infertile according to a shocking World Health Organization report.
The revelation also confirms that much of the Western World struggles with plummeting fertility rates as birth rates fall woefully below the level of replacement.
The WHO report underscored ‘sheer proportion’ of those affected highlighted the need to make fertility treatments more widely available.
The report defined infertility as failure to conceive after 12 months of regular unprotected sex.
Although the West’s infertility rates caused concern, areas of the Pacific registered higher infertility rates with 23.2% lifetime infertility rates.
The Middle East and Eastern Mediterrean zone was found to have had almost half the level of infertility as the West, while Subsaharan Africa’s infertility rates clocked in at around two-thirds of the Americas.
The Daily Mail reported:
“While the WHO estimates one in six adults globally will be affected by infertility in their life time there are regional variations. The Easter Mediterranean recorded the lowest infertility rare of just 10.7 per cent, followed by Africa with 13.1 per cent and then Europe with 16.5 per cent. The Western pacific region recorded the highest rate of 23.2 per cent, followed by the Americas with 20 per cent. No figure was available for the South East Asia region due to lack of quality studies in that area.”
There is much conjecture surrounding the causes of high infertility rates, including obesity.
Obesity levels in the Americas are skyrocketing, with only the Pacific Nations trumping American obesity rates.
On the report, WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed the scale of the global infertility problem with a view to address what could be done.
‘The report reveals an important truth — infertility does not discriminate,’ he said.
‘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.’
Women in the USA are more likely to experience problems conceiving a child. An estimated one in five women will struggle to get pregnant.
In the UK, the NHS estimates that around 15% of all couples will have trouble conceiving and a quarter of infertility cases will find no definite cause for infertility.
Treatment for IVF is costly, making this pathway unavailable to many couples who have trouble in starting a family.
Some experts have even blamed climate change as a contributing factor for falling fertility levels.
In spite of the alarming findings, no comment was made on whether infertility rates had increased since the previous report.
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