The percentage of married women aged 15 to 44 years with infertility decreased from 1982 to 2006-2010, according to a report published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Anjani Chandra, Ph.D., from the NCHS in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues examined data from the 2006 to 2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which consisted of 22,682 interviews with men and women aged 15 to 44 years, and compared trends using data from prior NSFG years.

The researchers observed a decrease in the percentage of married women who were infertile, from 8.5 percent in 1982 to 6.0 percent in 2006 to 2010. Among married women, impaired fecundity increased from 11 percent in 1982 to 15 percent in 2002 and declined to 12 percent in 2006 to 2010; for all women, impaired fecundity was 11 percent in 2006 to 2010. For nulliparous women, infertility and impaired fecundity were closely linked to age. The percentage of infertile married nulliparous women aged 35 to 44 years decreased, from 44 percent in 1982 to 27 percent in 2006 to 2010. Similar to 2002 levels, infertility in some form (subfertility or nonsurgical sterility) was reported by 9.4 and 12 percent of men aged 15 to 44 and 25 to 44, respectively, in 2006 to 2010.

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“There is value in determining the population-based prevalence of fertility problems independent of fertility intentions, with the recognition that there are a wide range of responses to infertility that may not involve medical services,” the authors write.