Infertility and Impaired Fecundity in the United States, 1982–2010: Data From the National Survey of Family Growth

Infertility and Impaired Fecundity in the United States 1982–2010 - Data From the National Survey of Family Growth.png

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics

Anjani Chandra, Casey E. Copen, Elizabeth Hervey Stephen


OBJECTIVES: This report presents nationally representative estimates and trends for infertility and impaired fecundity—two measures of fertility problems—among women aged 15–44 in the United States. Data are also presented on a measure of infertility among men aged 15–44.

METHODS: Data for this report come primarily from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which consisted of 22,682 interviews with men and women aged 15–44, conducted from June 2006 through June 2010. The response rate for women in the 2006–2010 NSFG was 78%, and for men was 75%. Selected trends are shown based on prior NSFG years.

RESULTS: The percentage of married women aged 15–44 who were infertile fell from 8.5% in 1982 (2.4 million women) to 6.0% (1.5 million) in 2006–2010. Impaired fecundity among married women aged 15–44 increased from 11% in 1982 to 15% in 2002, but decreased to 12% in 2006–2010. Among all women, 11% had impaired fecundity in 2006–2010. Both infertility and impaired fecundity remain closely associated with age for nulliparous women. Among married, nulliparous women aged 35–44, the percentage infertile declined from 44% in 1982 to 27% in 2006–2010, reflecting greater delays in childbearing over this period. Among married women in 2006–2010, non-Hispanic black women were more likely to be infertile than non-Hispanic white women. Some form of infertility (either subfertility or nonsurgical sterility) was reported by 9.4% of men aged 15–44 and 12% of men aged 25–44 in 2006–2010, similar to levels seen in 2002.