June Infertility Awareness Month: New Global Research

June is World Infertility Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness about infertility and its effects on millions of people around the world. Recent research from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows convincing evidence of the high global prevalence of infertility, and also highlights the fact that greater awareness of the widespread incidence of infertility – as well as the treatments available – is a global health priority.

Each year during World Infertility Awareness Month in June, our team at Cape Fertility joins other fertility experts around the world in raising greater awareness of infertility, the many possible causes of infertility and the extensive range of infertility treatments that are available – some of which are quite affordable.

By shining a light on the struggles so many couples go through when trying to conceive, we aim to help to empower those dealing with infertility and to increase access to treatment and support for those who need it. In addition, by raising awareness we help to dispel the negative stigmas surrounding fertility issues. Infertility is a difficult experience – physically, emotionally and financially – but it is often made worse by society’s judgemental attitude towards it. By highlighting these issues, we contribute to breaking down barriers that prevent couples from seeking help or getting the support they need.

In this article, we share the latest research published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that shows just how widespread infertility is around the globe, and also highlights how important greater awareness of both infertility and infertility treatments has become. We also share must-know information about infertility, its causes and the treatments available, and how to make sure you get the most affordable treatment.

Latest infertility research

According to a new report [Infertility Prevalence Estimates, 1990-2021 (who.int)] recently published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), large numbers of people are affected by infertility in their lifetime. Around 17.5% of the adult population – roughly 1 in 6 people worldwide – experience infertility, showing the urgent need to increase access to affordable, high-quality fertility care for those in need.

The new estimates further show limited difference in the prevalence of infertility between regions. The rates are comparable for high-, middle- and low-income countries, with lifetime prevalence at 17.8% in high-income countries and at 16.5% in low- and middle-income countries. This shows that infertility is a major health challenge globally.

“The report reveals an important truth: infertility does not discriminate,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General at WHO. “The sheer proportion of people affected show the need to widen access to fertility care and ensure this issue is no longer side lined in health research and policy, so that safe, effective, and affordable ways to attain parenthood are available for those who seek it.”

The WHO further says that despite the enormity of the issue, solutions for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infertility – including assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) – remain underfunded and inaccessible to many due to high costs, social stigma and limited availability.

“Millions of people face catastrophic healthcare costs after seeking treatment for infertility,” said 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 (HRP). High costs also frequently prevent people from accessing infertility treatments or alternatively – where fertility treatments are largely funded out of pocket – result in devastating financial burdens.

Must-know facts about infertility

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. In short, this means that infertility is a medical condition, and can be treated.

Even so, the inability to achieve a pregnancy can cause significant distress, stigma, and financial hardship, affecting people’s mental and psychosocial well-being.

Because it is a medical condition, and can be treated, infertility does not mean you can’t fall pregnant or have a baby, but rather that you require medical assistance or treatment to do so.

There are many possible causes for this medical condition. In fact, there is a range of causes of female infertility, as well as a number of causes of male infertility, in addition to the substantial possibility that there may be multiple causes from either partner or both partners – or no cause that can be found.

It is crucial to get expert assistance to identify the exact cause of your infertility challenges as a couple, so that the correct treatment and medications can be provided.

Raising awareness of available fertility treatments

Thankfully, there is a wide range of fertility treatments available today to address the many causes of infertility, from simple and low-cost procedures such as widely used medications, artificial insemination and non-invasive surgery, to advanced Assisted Reproductive Therapies (ART) like In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

This means that one couple will need a different combination of treatments or medications than another couple. As a result, the cost of fertility treatment will also differ from one couple to the next, depending on the type and number of treatments done, and the amount of medication required.

How to get affordable treatment

The only way to get the most affordable fertility treatment is to establish exactly what your unique infertility challenges are as a couple. This will then allow you to determine which specific combination of treatments and medications, from the many available, are required for you.

Good news in this regard comes from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, who published the encouraging statistic that approximately 85-90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures, and fewer than 3% need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

By knowing exactly what the cause or causes of your infertility are, and by investing only in treatments and medications that will give you the very best chance of a healthy pregnancy, you can ensure you get the most affordable fertility treatment.

Where to get affordable treatment

There is only one way to know for certain what the exact cause of your fertility challenges as a couple are – and what treatment is the best given your unique circumstances – and that is an initial consultation with a fertility specialist.

Setting up your initial consultation at Cape Fertility is as simple as contacting us here

Our fertility clinic team will also assist you with advice regarding possible financial assistance from your medical aid and medical finance options available. Furthermore, at Cape Fertility, we also always strive for higher success rates, so our patients have a superior chance of success for every treatment cycle they invest in.

Our four reproductive specialists all have impressive qualifications and extensive experience and enjoy the qualified support of a team of associated specialists, embryologists, IVF co-ordinators, theatre staff and an administration team.

We offer world-class facilities and expertise, and we believe in making quality fertility treatment affordable. Our facilities are purpose built and equipped with the latest technologies, which allows all the latest assisted conception techniques to be used with great success.

We value each individual patient and we look forward to providing you with our signature individualised and personalised care.