Female infertility cases may be more common than expected

Female infertility cases may be more common than would be expected based on the available data, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The findings suggest there is an underrecognition of infertility among Indian and South Asian populations, which can be an important factor related to disparities in reproductive health between these populations.

For the project, the researchers analyzed data from government health clinics in India and South Asia, as well as multiple national databases for fertility, leprosy, and HIV/AIDS care.

“The prevalence, severity, and timing of fertility problems are worsening in India and South Asia, ” said Ashok Varadkar, Ph. D., professor of UAB’s Department of Population and Reproductive Health and the study’s lead author. “Our project is set to identify gaps in knowledge on infertility, and in research about leprosy/HIV/AIDS related infertility, from the perspectives of women of ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity within both the U. S. and India. ”

The study looked at the 1995-2012 reproductiveCAGE data set, and compared the annual data of fertility with reproductive age, age, and month of conception.

The study found that the number of infertile women living in India was 6, 338 (0. 6 percent) versus 7, 541 (0. 8 percent) for fertile women, with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 5, 146-100, 673.

The study also compared age and health status of infertile mothers to fertile women of Indian descent residing in the U. S. and found the probability of infertility in infertile mothers was not as high as the number of fertile mothers required for the calculation of infertility in fertile women.

The researchers said the work will help them identify gaps in knowledge about infertility for both U. S. and India.

“Future studies of fertility can shed light on the effect of factors that disrupt fertility and give insights into women’s and female population reproductive health, ” said co-corresponding author Shashankh Haidle, Ph. D., professor of UAB’s Department of Clinical Population Health and Fetal and Reproductive Health.