The problem of infertility remains a global problem of mankind according to WHO and today, infertility affects about 10–
25% of couples of reproductive age worldwide, estimates vary from 48 to 186 million. When developing recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility in 2020, WHO did not revise the definition of infertility given in 2009, together with the International Monitoring Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART) in the “Glossary of Definitions of Infertility and Treatment of Infertility”, where infertility is considered a disease reproductive system, defined as the inability to achieve clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected intercourse. The same is the definition of male and female infertility in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD11). Higher rates of infertility are found in less developed countries/regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, North Africa/Middle East, Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia. At the same time, the researchers note that geographical differences in the level of infertility are associated with environmental, cultural and social factors. The etiology of infertility has different epidemiological characteristics depending on the region.
Purpose: to review foreign scientific literature containing information on the prevalence of infertility in countries around the world, the role of social factors in its formation, and the availability of treatment assistance.
Materials and methods: bibliographic, information-analytical methods and methods of comparative analysis.
Results: in modern research in the field of studying the social factors of childlessness, special attention is paid to the description and clustering of groups of childless women. The global problem of infertility is associated with adverse physical and mental health outcomes, financial hardship, severe social stigma, increased risk of domestic violence, and marital instability. It has been shown that women with less than secondary education are less likely to seek help for infertility treatment than women with higher education. In high-income countries, immigrant women, uninsured women are less likely to have access to fertility treatment, and they are less informed about their rights, even if they seek treatment at a later age.
Findings. Geographic differences in the prevalence of infertility in different countries are largely determined by social factors. The study of social factors of infertility in women showed that infertility is associated with a low quality of life. Although the likelihood of infertility in men and women is the same, and male infertility is responsible for more than half of all childlessness in the world, infertility remains primarily a social burden for women, especially in pronatalist societies. Women from wealthy backgrounds are more likely to have access to quality fertility treatment.