(HealthDay News) – The percentage of married women aged 15–44 years with infertility decreased from 1982 to 2006–2010, according to a report published Aug. 14 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Anjani Chandra, PhD, from the NCHS in Hyattsville, MD, and colleagues examined data from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which consisted of 22,682 interviews with men and women aged 15–44 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% in 1982 to 6% in 2006–2010. Among married women, impaired fecundity increased from 11% in 1982 to 15% in 2002 and declined to 12% in 2006–2010; for all women, impaired fecundity was 11% in 2006–2010. For nulliparous women, infertility and impaired fecundity were closely linked to age. The percentage of infertile married nulliparous women aged 35–44 years decreased, from 44% in 1982 to 27% in 2006–2010. Similar to 2002 levels, infertility in some form (subfertility or nonsurgical sterility) was reported by 9.4% and 12% of men aged 15–44 and 25–44, respectively, in 2006–2010.

“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.

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