WHO Factsheet on Infertility

17 September, 2020

With thanks to IBP.

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Dear IBP Colleagues,

Please see the newly published WHO Factsheet on Infertility.

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/infertility

Key facts

- Infertility is a disease of the male or female reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.(1)

- Infertility affects millions of people of reproductive age worldwide – and has an impact on their families and communities. Estimates suggest that between 48 million couples and 186 million individuals live with infertility globally. (2, 3, 4)

- In the male reproductive system, infertility is most commonly caused by problems in the ejection of semen (1), absence or low levels of sperm, or abnormal shape (morphology) and movement (motility) of the sperm.

- In the female reproductive system, infertility may be caused by a range of abnormalities of the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and the endocrine system, among others.

- Infertility can be primary or secondary. Primary infertility is when a pregnancy has never been achieved by a person, and secondary infertility is when at least one prior pregnancy has been achieved.

- Fertility care encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Equal and equitable access to fertility care remains a challenge in most countries; particularly in low and middle-income countries. Fertility care is rarely prioritized in national universal health coverage benefit packages.

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Forwarded by Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA coordinator