Infertility – a disease or not according to the WHO definition
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Katedra i Klinika Ginekologii i Endokrynologii Ginekologicznej Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie
I Klinika Położnictwa i Ginekologii Centrum Medyczne Kształcenia Podyplomowego w Warszawie
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2012;18(2):163–166
Infertility in marriage is a widespread, and not only medical, but also a social problem.

The purpose of study was verification of whether or not, according to the definition by the WHO, infertility is approached as a disease in the relevant literature, and the determination of premises to view infertility in that way.

Material and Methods:
In order to collect material for the study, medical university databases: PubMed, MEDLINE and Social Care Online data, were searched for the following key notions: infertility, consequences of infertility, quality of life of infertile individuals, disease, and chronic disease. The search was limited to literature in Polish and English published in 1994-2010. Subsequently, 48 reports were selected, 27 of which were finally used for the presented study. In addition, 6 reports were used which were not included in the above-mentioned databases, but found in private database of other researchers. Finally, 33 reports were analyzed.

The WHO and some researchers support the thesis that infertility is a disease of a ‘social’ character. However, there are numerous opposing approaches stating that infertility cannot be considered as a disease, because it is not associated with pain, not life threatening and it does concern a single individual. The review of literature showed a wide diversity of opinions among the researchers which allowed the drawing of some conclusions.

Contemporary literature does not provide an explicit definition of marriage infertility as a disease, although there are numerous arguments for approaching it as such.

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