INTRODUCTION, Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after at least one year of unprotected intercourse. Using this definition, 7.4 percent of married women aged 15–44, or about 2.1 million women, were infertile in 2002 (1). The same survey showed that about 12 percent of women had “impaired fecundity” (that is difficulty in getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term), or 7.3 million women aged 15–44. The incidence of infertility clearly increases with age: In 2002, 11 percent of childless married women aged 15–29 had infertility, compared with 17 percent of those aged 30–34, 23 percent of those aged 35–39, and 27 percent of those aged 40–44. Contrary to the public perception, rates of infertility and impaired fecundity have not changed significantly since 1965, but because of delayed childbearing and changes in population demographics, the number of older childless women increased substantially (2). In addition, the introduction of a variety of new fertility drugs and techniques received widespread news coverage and spurred public discussion about infertility. The greater range of treatment alternatives now available together with the increasing number of clinics and physicians specializing in infertility has resulted in a rise in the number of medical visits for infertility and in the amount of money spent to treat infertility.
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