Fertility Treatment in Other Countries
Many patients who come to my clinic are amazed at how busy I am. They comment about how many of their friends in other cities are also coping with infertility. While the US does have a high incidence of infertility, it seems to be even higher in other countries. Here is a link to an article in the Economist that gives more information about fertility treatment in other developed countries. They have a very interesting chart about 2/3rds down the page.
In the US, about 1 out of every 100 births is from IVF. In Belgium and Denmark, it is almost 4 per hundred. This may be because of the higher overall number of births in America, but they are some pretty eye-opening numbers. The most recent statistics state there are 6 million people in the US suffering from infertility, so the total number worldwide probably approaches 60 or 80 million. I can only imagine what the incidence of infertility in China is going to be, because of the significant amount of pollution happening there.
Nonetheless, we are facing a world-wide epidemic of infertility. FSH levels are rising in younger and younger women. Sperm counts continue to decrease. Thankfully, people are starting to realize that environmental factors can affect fertility. I think we are going to see a drop in bottled water usage and couples that are TTC eating less soy products, as well as more organic food. Overall health is key for maintaining reproductive health.