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Child Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Impaired Fecundity and Infertility Services

Narrative

Infertility generally refers to difficulties in becoming pregnant after trying for 1 year, whereas impaired fecundity includes problems either in becoming pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.1 Factors that can increase a women’s risk of infertility or impaired fecundity include older age, smoking, excessive alcohol use, being severely over- or underweight, a history of sexually transmitted infections, and certain health conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which can interfere with ovulation.2

In 2006–2010, 10.9 percent of women aged 15-44 had impaired fecundity (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Among nulliparous women—those without a previous birth—prevalence of impaired fecundity increased with age from 6.4 percent of women aged 15-24 to 30.2 percent of women aged 40-44. In contrast, impaired fecundity did not vary greatly with age among women with a previous birth, ranging from 9 to 12 percent across age groups. Among women with a previous birth, the proportion who are surgically sterile (i.e., tubal ligation or hysterectomy) increases to 55.4 percent of women by age 40-44, and thus a smaller proportion are at risk of impaired fecundity (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

Difficulties having a baby can be addressed with medicines, surgery, artificial insemination, and assisted reproductive technology (ART).3 In 2006–2010, 11.9 percent of women aged 15-44 years reported that they or their spouses or partners had ever received some form of infertility service and 4.9 percent had received medical help to prevent a miscarriage (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). The most common type of infertility service received was advice (6.5 percent), followed by infertility testing (5.0 percent) and medications to improve ovulation (4.0 percent). Between one-fifth and one-quarter of nulliparous women aged 35-39 and 40-44, respectively, had ever received infertility services.

Between 2000-2009, the number of ART treatment cycles (or fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled) performed in the U.S. increased from 99,629 to 146,244 and the resulting number of infants born more than doubled (from 35,025 to 60,190).4

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Reproductive Health. Infertility FAQs. Accessed: 11/14/12.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Reproductive Health. Infertility FAQs. Accessed: 11/14/12.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Reproductive Health. Infertility FAQs. Accessed: 11/14/12.

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): ART Trends 2000-2009. Accessed: 08/5/13.

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Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

Impaired Fecundity  graph

This image is described in the Data section.

Types of Infertility Services graph

Data

Impaired Fecundity* Among Females Aged 15-44 Years, by Age and Parity, 2006–2010
Age Group Percent of Females with No Births Percent of Females with 1 or More Births
*Impaired fecundity is defined as having problems getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term for reasons unrelated to surgical sterility.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Survey of Family Growth, 2006-2010. Analysis conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics.
15-29 Years 8.0 10.9
30-34 Years 16.9 10.8
35-39 Years 26.5 11.3
40-44 Years 30.2 9.3
Total 11.2 10.6

Types of Infertility Services Received by Females Aged 15-44 Years, 2006–2010

Percent of Females:

  • Any service 11.9
  • Advice 6.5
  • Infertility Testing (of female or male partner) 5.0
  • Ovulation medication 4.0
  • Surgery or treatment of blocked tubes 0.9
  • Artificial insemination 1.2
  • Assisted reproductive technology 0.4
    (Assisted reproductive technology (ART) includes all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled outside of the body. Generally, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman.)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Survey of Family Growth, 2006-2010. Analysis conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics.