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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 37-44

Infertility in the Middle East and North Africa Region: A systematic review with meta-Analysis of prevalence surveys

School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, England, UK

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdallah Eldib
School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, England
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/LJMS.LJMS_24_18

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Infertility is a worldwide health issue with high impact on the individuals involved and the society as a whole. Estimates of infertility are very important to inform social and economic policies. The aim of this systematic literature review is to estimate the prevalence of primary and secondary infertility in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and produce the overall estimate of the different indicators of infertility in MENA region. A systematic search was conducted to identify publications providing data from MENA countries. All titles and abstracts retrieved using this search strategy were managed by Endnote software, duplicates were removed and studies on animals, systematic reviews, and from non-MENA region was removed from the EndNote library. Seven electronic databases and websites were searched for relevant articles and surveys with no language or date restriction on July 2017. Data of prevalence, risk factors, and causes of infertility were extracted from included articles and meta-analyzed to produce the overall effect sizes of the infertility estimates. Eight cross-sectional studies and one World Health Organization report contained the prevalence data from four MENA countries were included in this study. The clinical primary infertility defined as "the failure to become pregnant after 12 months or more of continuous and unprotected sexual intercourse" was estimated in 5 surveys as 3.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.7–8.4, effect size = −7.564, P = 0.0001), with the total clinical infertility, both primary and secondary infertility, estimate was 17.2% (95% CI = 10.6–26.7, effect size = −5.5, P = 0.0001). Demographic primary infertility was 22.6% (95% CI = 13.4–35.5, effect size = −3.8, P = 0.0001) and demographic total infertility rate was 38.5% (95% CI = 28.8–49.2, effect size = −2.11, P = 0.035). The data extracted suggested, overall, that clinical primary infertility is low at 3.8% and demographic infertility in MENA region is high, at 22.6%.

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