According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) a couple needs to be evaluated for infertility after 1 year of regular, unprotected intercourse with not being able to get pregnant.
Worldwide, 15% of couples of reproductive age (50-80 million people) are affected by infertility. However, if a couple doesn’t conceive in the first year –for women under 35- it is worth trying for one more year. Studies have shown that after 2 years of trying to conceive, 80-85% of couples will eventually become parents. Should this not be the case, the couple should refer to a specialist for infertility screening.
Male infertility is involved in 40% of infertility cases, female infertility in 40% and unexplained infertility in 20%. Infertility is defined as unexplained if its cause remains unknown even after an infertility testing.
Infertility in the world
Thousands of couples every year may seek treatment abroad and medical tourism for assisted conception services is growing.
More than 600.000 IVF treatment cycles are performed in Europe, 270.000 in Japan, 170.000 in the U.S., 65.000 in Russia and 75.000 in Australia and New Zealand annually. Consequently there is an obvious explosion of the IVF market. Subfertile couples try to locate the best available IVF clinic for advice and treatment.
It is estimated that only in Europe travel 25.000-30.000 couples annually, seeking IVF treatment. Most of them use the internet to obtain information before decision-making in order to select a fertility center.