According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), one in six people in the world is affected by infertility. There are practically no differences between rich and poor countries, the WHO reported on Monday. “The sheer number of people affected shows that access to fertility treatments needs to be expanded and that health research and policy must no longer sideline this issue so that safe, effective and affordable avenues to parenthood are available to all who wish standing,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Infertility treatments are expensive
According to the WHO definition, doctors speak of infertility if no pregnancy occurs after regular, unprotected sexual intercourse over a longer period of time – one year or more. For this report, the WHO selected and evaluated 133 from more than 12,000 studies worldwide between 1990 and 2021.
This can lead to significant anguish and stigma and can damage people’s mental health. Nevertheless, it is unaffordable for many people to undergo artificial insemination. Such services are often simply not offered in the vicinity. The treatments are expensive and in most countries have to be paid for out of pocket. WHO advocates for more help to be made available to infertile people everywhere at affordable costs.
What is behind infertility – and what helps against it
In women: The reasons for infertility are very diverse
, it says on the portal “Frauenärzte im Netz” from the professional association of gynecologists. “Fertility is not an immutable quantity, but is subject to more or less strong fluctuations in each person. Even in young couples, excessive stress or severe mental stress can trigger periods of infertility.”
If the situation eases up again, fertility could also “recover”. “Even though a couple may be upset about not getting pregnant, in many cases this reaction of the body makes sense.
Great stress, mental or physical strain
prevent the woman from being able to concentrate on a pregnancy and from gaining the necessary calm and serenity. That is why the body automatically prevents pregnancy from occurring in such phases.”
There are also numerous myths surrounding male fertility. Cycling is said to be counterproductive, and laptop radiation is also suspected of impairing potency. As andrologist Andrea Salzbrunn told FOCUS online, however, there is an unhealthy lifestyle behind it. That’s why she always lets her patients fill out a questionnaire about their lifestyle first – how do they eat, how much sport do they do. “We can often start here as well,” explains Salzbrunn. Her recommendation is always a “life like the great-grandmother” with a balanced diet, lots of exercise and little alcohol.
Unfortunately, even if many people wish that, there is no magic pill for fertility. “I always say I can’t make up for the sins of 40 years of life. Smoking, drinking, smoking weed, eating from plastic bowls and little exercise – all of this is very harmful.” The body functions as a whole, the focus on just one organ – such as the testicles – is often not enough.