What is the true prevalence of infertility

Capsule:
Reflections on “The prevalence of infertility in the United States as estimated by the current duration approach and a traditional constructed approach” by Thoma et al.

Author:
Joseph B. Stanford, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Volume 99, Issue 5, Pages 1201-1202, April 2013

Abstract:

Reflections on “The prevalence of infertility in the United States as estimated by the current duration approach and a traditional constructed approach” by Thoma et al.

  • JBS

    I appreciate the comment by Audrey Gaskins and would like to amplify it further. An additional methodologic wrinkle is that many early pregnancy losses are unrecognized. Whether or not someone recognizes a loss may therefore directly impact the estimation of “how long” they have been attempting conception. I look forward to further work assessing this issues. Joseph B. Stanford, MD

  • Audrey Gaskins

    Dr. Stanford provides readers with many insightful points in this reflection on the true prevalence of infertility. Of particular note was his thoughtful comment on the need to develop analytical methods which can incorporate information from women experiencing one or more miscarriages interspersed with delays in conception. I think he couldn’t be more correct. These women are not a rarity, as its estimated that up to 70% of fertilized ova are lost. Thus, finding a way to incorporate their reproductive history into our conceptualization of infertility will only improve our population estimates.

  • The following statement is NOT meant to, in any way, reflect my position on gay marriage or the position of the institution that I work for.

    Given the current geopolitical climate in which our Supreme Court is trying to define “marriage,” the prevalence of infertility should also include non traditional couples (lesbian) as well single females that are attempting pregnancy via donor insemination or IVF/ICSI. To exclude them because they do not fit the traditional definition of “couples attempting pregnancy” would be underestimating the true prevalence of infertility.

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