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Rise in Infertility Rate in Couples

Update Date: Jan 15, 2013 04:55 AM EST

It has recently been observed that approximately one-sixth of couples in the U.S. suffer from infertility. The research was conducted by Germaine Buck Louis from the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland, and her co-workers, who used two different methods to calculate the infertility rates.

Though this research provides information about infertility rates, the actual aim of the research was not to find out the cause of infertility.

The data analysis was done on the basis of a nationwide survey conducted on approximately 7,600 women, and included 288 of them who wanted to become pregnant and were trying for it. The data was gathered from interviews that were made in 2002 across the country, taking women between the ages of 15 to 44. The interviews were conducted both face-to-face and online.

In their study, initially they found out the number of infertile couples among all the couples that could become pregnant on the basis of their sexual behaviors. In their next step, they concentrated on the women who were attempting to become pregnant, so they had to omit the data of those women who were using some form of contraceptives, as well as nursing mothers.

It was found that even after a minimum of one year of unprotected sex, 15 to 16 percent of the couples could not conceive.

"What this study showed, I felt, was a little bit higher infertility rate than we typically quote patients. Many in the field feel like the rate of infertility is increasing, and (this finding) seems like a more accurate reflection of the actual infertility rate," Dr. Sacha Krieg from the University of Kansas City said to Reuters Health, when asked about the study. Dr. Krieg, however, is not associated with this research.

The most common way of combating infertility is in vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF. However, IVF costs $15,000 per cycle and the treatment coverage is dependent on the type of insurance taken by an individual.

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology in 2010 estimated that approximately 150,000 cycles of IVF were received by women. The common hurdles in pregnancy are male factor infertility and diminished ovarian reserve.

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