September 24, 2020

Infertility Treatment is Essential Medical Care

Infertility Treatment is Essential Medical Care

The World Health Organization (WHO) has for the first time acknowledged infertility as a disease. Over one in eight couples trying to conceive will have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. The World Health Organization Fact Sheet recognizes that infertility treatment is essential medical care. Here is an expert of the Key Facts:

Key Infertility 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.
For the full World Health Organization Fertility Fact Sheet on how infertility treatment is essential medical care, click here.

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Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D. Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility