Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Epidemiology and management of infertility: a population-based study in UK primary care

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Scott Wilkes, Dr David Chinn, Professor Alison Murdoch, Emeritus Professor Greg RubinORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Objective. To describe the incidence, prevalence, referral patterns and outcomes of infertile couples, presenting in general practice in UK. Methods. A population-based retrospective observational outcome study of infertile couples from general practices in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, UK (population 1 043 513). Outcome data at 1 year were collected on all couples who presented to their GP between the 1st January 2005 and 30th June 2006 with a fertility problem. Results. Thirty-four per cent of general practices in the study area contributed data (population 404 263). The incidence of infertility was 0.9 couples per 1000 general population. The average age of women was 31 years, and the average time attempting conception was 18 months. Treatment end points for half of all couples were in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Over half of the couples in the study were not eligible for National Health Service (NHS) fertility treatment on social criteria. At 12 months, 27% of all couples in the study achieved a pregnancy spontaneously and a further 9% with treatment. Conclusions. Infertile women present to their GP later in life compared with 20 years ago, and after a shorter period of infertility. Half of the couples required treatment with IVF or ICSI. Adopting the British Fertility Society recommendation of allowing couples, where one or both partners has a child in a previous relationship, will result in an additional 26% of infertile couples becoming eligible for NHS fertility treatment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilkes S, Chinn DJ, Murdoch A, Rubin G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Family Practice

Year: 2009

Volume: 26

Issue: 4

Pages: 269-274

ISSN (print): 0263-2136

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2229

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmp029


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric