With 1 in 6 couples across the globe experiencing fertility issues and around 48.5 million couples worldwide having unprotected intercourse yet suffering from infertility.
Yet unbelievably this statistic has not as yet broken the taboo of infertility and too many struggle in silence and without any knowledge of what may potentially be causing their issues.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have now classified infertility as a disease
Many clinical studies do not even begin to explore infertility until a couple attempt to get pregnant for at least one year according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Demographic studies, such Sharlip indicate that 50% of infertility cases are due to a solely female factor, male factor accounts for 20-30% of the problem, and the remaining 20-30% is due to a combination of both male and female factors.
We used the “Sharlip factor” as a basis for calculations because it was the most widely cited and reported statistic regarding male infertility. Further, a more accurate statistic is as of yet, unavailable. Therefore we used the same parameters to calculate the statistics found in this report.
In regions where the prevalence of male infertility was not reported, we calculated male infertility statistics utilizing female infertility rates.
Data was taken from WHO regarding infertility rates as reported by female partners in regions of the world.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 14.2% of women reported infertility. From this, we assumed with couples infertility at 14.2%, then female factor infertility would be 7.1%. Since the other 50% is assumed to be a combination of male factor and combined factor infertility, we calculated 20-30% of 7.1% to arrive at solely male factor infertility and 40-55% of 7.1% to arrive at any situation when the male factor is involved in any way.
Male infertility is a global population health concern too.
In the current study, we calculated rates of male infertility across the globe based on a review of the current literature (Figure 2). Since we do not know the actual rates of infertility, most of the numbers shown are based on self-report, thus cover a wide range. Overall, by examining the available literature and consolidating the information, our data indicates that global rates of male infertility range from 2.5% to 12%.
According to results, at least 30 million men worldwide are infertile with the highest rates in Africa and Eastern Europe. However, due to the varying credibility and older nature of many of the articles analyzed, it is quite difficult to make a definite conclusion on the nature of these infertility rates.
The main message of these findings is that male infertility is a global health issue that has not been researched or studied to truly understand its magnitude and prevalence.
This information provides insight into where the greatest need is for further research into underlying etiology and treatment.
As a society, we must reduce barriers from stigmas associated with infertility due to religious and cultural beliefs
Much work is needed to raise awareness about both female and male infertility.
With broad and accurate understanding increasing all the time, infertility can be treated by managing underlying conditions.