Subfertility

Subfertility

Infertility, particularly male infertility is a major matter of concern, as it is a clinical challenge of increasing significance. Worldwide, an estimated approximately 50-80 million couples are infertile, which equals 7-15% of all couples at reproductive age (15-45 years of age). These numbers include both primary (couples have never conceived after having one child) and secondary infertility (couples have difficulties to conceive before). However, due to high rates of infection-induced infertility in certain regions in the so called “infertility belt” of sub-Saharan Africa, the prevalence of secondary infertility is near 30%.

Among all involuntary childless couples, male infertility accounts for approximately 30-50% of the cases. This means that more than 7% of men are affected by infertility during their reproductive lifetime. Thus, the prevalence of male infertility is even higher than that for diabetes mellitus Type I and II, which, with an overall estimate of 2.8% in the year 2000 and 4.4% in 2030 is considered as a common disease.

(Reference: Agarwal et al.; Ralf Henkel: ROS and Semen Quality, page 301, Humana Press, 2012)