There are 90 million couples in the world who experience fertility problems, 25 million people in Europe alone, which is the continent where assisted fertilization is most frequently used: from 100 thousand cycles in 1995 to 700 thousand in 2014. And the rate of fertility has been falling all over the world in recent years. Even in Africa, where it remains the highest, the number of births per woman has dropped from 5.1 in 2000-2005 to 4.7 in 2010-2015.
The picture is given by Eleonora Porcu, professor of gynecology at the University of Bologna, at the 75th congress of pediatrics. Italy, where it is estimated that around 15% of couples have infertility problems, is the eighth country in the world for the number of medically assisted procreation treatments (Pma). More than eight million children were born in the world thanks to PMA since 1978, in Europe from 1997 to 2014 almost a million and a half, in Italy alone in 2016 13.582 (a total of 2.9% of all births in Italy in that year).
“Pma – explains Eleonora Porcu – has been designed to cure infertility, and it succeeds in part, not in an absolute way. With an average pregnancy rate of around 30%, the cumulative percentage can grow with more treatment cycles but not he never gets to cure all cases of sterility “. In addition to the pathologies, there is also the age factor that affects fertility: Pma is not always the answer. “The birth rate – concludes the expert – is linked more to the social customs that make it possible to move on from the search for children to the real increase in pathological factors. Thinking of countering the birth rate with laboratory techniques is inappropriate.