Prevalence and Risk factors of Infertility in a Mongolian Population
Background Worldwide, the median prevalence of infertility is 9%, but rates in different countries vary from 3.5–16.7%. Infertility, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the failure to conceive after 12 months of unprotected regular sexual intercourse, is not considered a medical condition but carries a social stigma and can greatly impact a couple's self-esteem and wellbeing. There are a number of risk factors associated with infertility such as: genetic background, age,
... c background, age, socio-economic factors, and health care including treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. We have achieved the first population-based study on the prevalence of infertility in reproductive aged women in Mongolia, and the factors that influence it. Method: We conducted a population-based, cross sectional study in 4 regions of Mongolia and the capital city, Ulaanbaatar: East, West, Central Khangai, Central, and Ulaanbaatar. Our questionnaire consisted of categories that influenced infertility such as: socio-economic status, lifestyle factors, health, reproductive history, present status and sexual function. Trained staff conducted face-to-face interviews with the participants. Results A total of 1,920 couples residing in 4 regions of Mongolia and the capital city, Ulaanbaatar were studied. The median prevalence rate was 7.2%, which is similar to the worldwide infertility rate of 9%. Primary and secondary infertility was 2.5% and 5% respectively. Sexual transmitted diseases (STIs) contributed to secondary infertility. Our study showed that the most important risk factors for infertility were rural living and low levels of education. Only 14.8% of infertile patients received hormone therapy, and even fewer infertile patients (0.8%) received in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. Conclusions Our study shows that two most significant risk factors for infertility were: reliving in rural communities and having a low level of education. Occupational conditions, and monthly household income were not significant risk factors for infertility. Since this is the first population-based study in Mongolia we were not able to measure trends in infertility prevalence but intend to do so in the future.