Subfertility and Infertility Treatment Barriers

Despite the high prevalence of infertility in Africa, there are significant barriers to treatment, notably assisted reproductive technology, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).1, 6

Assisted reproductive technology utilization in sub-Saharan Africa compared to

Europe and globally (cycles per million per year)

Assisted reproductive technology utilization is 5 times and 10 times greater globally and in Europe, compared to sub-Saharan Africa

According to 2010 surveillance data, Africa has the lowest number of IVF clinics per capita globally, with some countries reporting no IVF clinics. In sub-Saharan Africa, assisted reproductive technology utilization in 2010 was 87 cycles per million per year (mppy), compared with 474 cycles/mppy globally and 900 cycles/mppy in Europe.7

In low-resource countries, IVF treatment costs remain prohibitive for most people seeking medical assistance to conceive. Strategies to reduce the cost of IVF treatment have been explored and include simplifying investigative procedures and equipment in the laboratory, reducing the cost of ovarian stimulation, and minimizing the complications of IVF.8 The availability of low-cost IVF services in low-resource countries will improve access to fertility treatment.

Note: References are listed at the end of the course.

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