WHO warns of growing infertility problem

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that one in six people worldwide suffer from infertility at some point in their lives, prompting them to urge increased access to treatment.

“Infertility is a widespread public health problem, and in some countries it can give the impression of a woman or a failed couple,” said Pascal Allotey, Director of the WHO Sexual and Reproductive Health Division.

At a press conference to present the data in Geneva, the study found that infertility affects about 17.8% of adults in rich countries and 16.5% of people in poor and developing countries.

“This report, the first of its kind in ten years, reveals an important fact: infertility makes no difference,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months or more of regular unprotected intercourse, according to the WHO, which has said that reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization or IVF are still underfunded.

According to the report, in most countries fertility treatment is paid for out of pocket and can create financial hardship, affecting people’s “mental and psychosocial well-being”.

“Millions of people face catastrophic health care costs after seeking fertility treatment, making this a major equity issue and all too often a medical poverty trap for those affected,” said Dr. Pascal. .

“Improving government policies and funding can greatly improve access to treatment and, as a result, protect the poorest households from impoverishment,” Allotey said.

Others suffering from infertility find the cost of treatment prohibitive and choose not to pursue fertility treatment options, which the WHO calls a “fundamental human right”.

“Everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,” the organization said.

“Individuals and couples have the right to decide on the number, timing and spacing of their children. Infertility can interfere with the enjoyment of these basic human rights.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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