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According to WHO, Infertility affects 1 in 6 persons globally

According to a new WHO research released today, infertility affects a large number of people over the course of their lives. Worldwide, around 1 in 6 adults, or 17.5%, struggle with infertility, demonstrating the critical need to provide access to high-quality, reasonably priced fertility care for individuals who are in need. The latest figures reveal little regional difference in the prevalence of infertility.

The rates are comparable in high-, middle-, and low-income nations, demonstrating that this is a significant worldwide health issue. In high-income countries, the lifetime prevalence was 17.8%, while in low- and middle-income nations, it was 16.5%.

Infertility does not discriminate, as the report makes clear, according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization. “The vast number of impacted persons highlights the need to increase access to fertility treatment and ensuring that this topic is no longer marginalized in health research and policy, so that those who seek parenting have access to safe, efficient, and cheap means of doing so.”

The inability to conceive after 12 months or more of regular, unprotected sexual activity is considered infertility, a disorder of the male or female reproductive system. It can have a negative impact on people’s mental and emotional wellbeing by causing severe distress, stigma, and financial difficulty. Despite the severity of the problem, assisted reproductive technology (ART) like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other treatment options for infertility remain underfunded and out of reach for many because of their high prices, negative societal connotations, and scarcity.

Now, most nations require patients to pay for their own fertility treatments, which can have disastrous financial consequences. Comparatively to those in affluent nations, those in the poorest countries devote a larger percentage of their income to fertility care. People are frequently prevented from receiving infertility treatments by high expenses, or alternatively, seeking care may force them into poverty.

Dr. Pascale Allotey, Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research at WHO, including the United Nations’ Special Programme of Research, Development, and Research Training in Human Reproduction, stated that “millions of people face catastrophic healthcare costs after seeking treatment for infertility, making this a major equity issue and all too often, a medical poverty trap for those affected” (HRP).

Improved regulations and public funding can greatly increase access to care and prevent poorer households from experiencing a relapse into poverty as a result. The new analysis reveals a chronic shortage of data in many nations and some regions even though it provides compelling proof of the significant global prevalence of infertility. To help quantify infertility, as well as to identify who needs fertility care and how risks can be decreased, it advocates for increased availability of national data on infertility that is broken down by age and reason.

More About Infertility Affects

Infertility can have a significant impact on individuals and couples who are trying to conceive. It can cause emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and can even strain relationships. Infertility affects both men and women, and there are several causes of infertility including hormonal imbalances, age, genetic factors, and lifestyle choices.

Infertility can also lead to financial strain, as treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be costly and may not be covered by insurance. Infertility treatments can also be time-consuming, requiring frequent doctor visits and medical procedures, which can disrupt work and personal life.

It is important for individuals and couples experiencing infertility to seek support and resources, such as counseling, support groups, and medical professionals specializing in infertility. There are also alternative options such as adoption and surrogacy for those who are unable to conceive.

More About WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for the international public health. Its mission is to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world. The WHO was established in 1948 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WHO plays a key role in setting global health standards, developing policies and strategies to improve health, and monitoring and assessing health trends and outcomes around the world. It works with governments, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to provide technical support and guidance on a range of health issues, including infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, environmental health, mental health, and emergency preparedness and response.

The WHO has a global presence with six regional offices, and its work is guided by the World Health Assembly, which is the organization’s decision-making body. The WHO has been instrumental in several public health achievements, including the eradication of smallpox, the control of polio, and the reduction of maternal and child mortality rates.

About Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is an Ethiopian microbiologist, public health researcher, and the current Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). He was elected as the WHO’s Director-General in May 2017, becoming the first African to hold the position.

Dr. Tedros, as he is commonly known, has a background in public health and has held several leadership positions in the Ethiopian government, including as Minister of Health and Minister of Foreign Affairs. During his tenure as Minister of Health, he led the development of a comprehensive health care system in Ethiopia, which improved access to health care for millions of Ethiopians.

Dr. Tedros is known for his work in health diplomacy, promoting cooperation and collaboration among countries to tackle global health challenges. He has played a key role in responding to several disease outbreaks, including Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19. Under Dr. Tedros’s leadership, the WHO has focused on promoting universal health coverage, strengthening health systems, and advancing the global health agenda through partnerships and innovation.

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