J Biosoc Sci. 2018 Jul;50(4):472-490. doi: 10.1017/S0021932017000244. Epub 2017 Jun 23.


The inability to have children affects couples worldwide and causes emotional and psychological distress in both men and women. Turkey is a country that lays particular emphasis on the issue of infertility, especially after experiencing a dramatic fertility decline over the last two decades. This study aimed to understand the changes in the prevalence of infertility in Turkey using three different approaches: the DHS Approach, the Constructed Approach and the Current Duration Approach. Furthermore, the factors contributing to elevated risks of infertility as derived from the Constructed Approach were investigated using four different logistic regression models. The data came from the 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013 Demographic and Health Surveys conducted by the Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies. The findings of the Constructed and Current Duration Approaches suggested that the prevalence of infertility decreased markedly from 1993 to 2013 in Turkey. This decline was the result of improvements in maternal health care services in Turkey, as well as an increase in the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), from 1.9% in 2008 to 4.1% in 2013. The results of the final logistic regression model suggested that the risk of infertility was significantly higher among women aged between 35 and 49 (p<0.01), uneducated women (p<0.01), women whose age at first marriage was over 30 (p<0.01), women defined as overweight (p<0.05) and women whose age at menarche was less than 12 years (p<0.05). This is the first nationwide study to examine the prevalence of infertility and its socio-demographic risk factors in Turkey, a developing country; previous studies have established these risk factors mainly in developed countries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Rate
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Infertility / epidemiology*
  • Infertility / etiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Menarche
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted
  • Risk Factors
  • Turkey
  • Young Adult