A unique view on male infertility around the globe - Abstract

BACKGROUND: Infertility affects an estimated 15% of couples globally, amounting to 48.5 million couples.

Males are found to be solely responsible for 20-30% of infertility cases and contribute to 50% of cases overall. However, this number does not accurately represent all regions of the world. Indeed, on a global level, there is a lack of accurate statistics on rates of male infertility. Our report examines major regions of the world and reports rates of male infertility based on data on female infertility.

METHODS: Our search consisted of systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and population-based studies by searching the terms "epidemiology, male infertility, and prevalence." We identified 16 articles for detailed study. We typically used the assumption that 50% of all cases of infertility are due to female factors alone, 20-30% are due to male factors alone, and the remaining 20-30% are due to a combination of male and female factors. Therefore, in regions of the world where male factor or rates of male infertility were not reported, we used this assumption to calculate general rates of male factor infertility.

RESULTS: Our calculated data showed that the distribution of infertility due to male factor ranged from 20% to 70% and that the percentage of infertile men ranged from 2ยท5% to 12%. Infertility rates were highest in Africa and Central/Eastern Europe. Additionally, according to a variety of sources, rates of male infertility in North America, Australia, and Central and Eastern Europe varied from 4 5-6%, 9%, and 8-12%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates a novel and unique way to calculate the distribution of male infertility around the world. According to our results, at least 30 million men worldwide are infertile with the highest rates in Africa and Eastern Europe. Results indicate further research is needed regarding etiology and treatment, reduce stigma & cultural barriers, and establish a more precise calculation.

Written by:
Agarwal A, Mulgund A, Hamada A, Chyatte MR.   Are you the author?
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, 44195, USA; Northeast Ohio Medical University, 4209 State Route 44, PO Box 95, Rootstown, OH, 44272, USA; Department of Urology, Jackson South Hospital, Miami University, Miami, FL, 33176, USA. ; ; ;

Reference: Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2015 Apr 26;13(1):37.
doi: 10.1186/s12958-015-0032-1

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25928197

UroToday.com Male Infertility & Reproduction Section

email news signup