Estimation of the frequency of involuntary infertility on a nation-wide basis: A nation-wide survey of couple fecundity

Abstract : BACKGROUNDAssessing couple fecundity on a nation-wide basis without excluding couples who eventually remain infertile is challenging. Our aim was to describe couple fecundity (in terms of frequency of involuntary infertility) among the general population living in France.METHODSWe used a current-duration design. A random sample of 64 262 households was selected in 2007-2008, allowing us to identify 15 810 women aged 18-44 years. Eligible women (n= 1089) were those having regular sexual intercourse with a male partner, not using any method of contraception and not having delivered in the previous 3 months. These women reported information on the current duration of unprotected intercourse (CDUI, the time elapsed between the start of the period of unprotected intercourse and the time of inclusion in the study). The CDUI distribution was used to estimate the frequency of involuntary infertility, using a newly developed statistical technique that does not require couples to be followed up until the end of the period of unprotected intercourse.RESULTSCDUI was defined for 867 women. An estimated 46% of couples had no detected pregnancy conceived during the first 6 months of unprotected intercourse [95% confidence interval (CI), 36-56%]. The proportions of couples with no detected pregnancy within 12 and 24 months were 24% (19-30%) and 11% (8-14%), respectively.CONCLUSIONSThese results constitute one of the few descriptions of the fecundity of a nation-wide representative sample of couples from the general population, not limited to couples who eventually conceived or to those resorting to medical help.
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Human Reproduction, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2012, epub ahead of print. <10.1093/humrep/des070>
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Rémy Slama, Oluf Kristian Højbjerg Hansen, Béatrice Ducot, Aline Bohet, Ditte Sorensen, et al.. Estimation of the frequency of involuntary infertility on a nation-wide basis: A nation-wide survey of couple fecundity. Human Reproduction, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2012, epub ahead of print. <10.1093/humrep/des070>. <inserm-00680532>

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