Infertility and impaired fecundity in the United States, 1982-2010: data from the National Survey of Family Growth

Natl Health Stat Report. 2013 Aug 14:(67):1-18, 1 p following 19.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Black or African American
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / epidemiology*
  • Infertility, Female / ethnology
  • Infertility, Male / epidemiology*
  • Infertility, Male / ethnology
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Qualitative Research
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People
  • Young Adult