NEW study data has revealed that females from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds have lower chances of conception without the assistance of fertility treatments. The USA-based study found that infertility was prevalent in 10–15% of reproductive age groups, postulating that lifestyle and behavioural changes, as well as structural, political, and environmental factors can influence fecundability.
Over 6 years, the prospective cohort study examined questionnaires of females of reproductive age attempting spontaneous pregnancy, enquiring after their sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics, medical history, and reproductive health. The study aimed to establish a correlation between fecundability and residence in a disadvantaged neighbourhood.
Examining over 6,256 participants, the study authors noted that individuals from disadvantaged neighbourhoods tended to be younger, with lower levels of education and household income, and with higher levels of smoking.
Data analysis through Spearman’s Rank correlation revealed that fecundability ratio showed a linear inverse relation with Area Deprivation Index (ADI). Furthermore, when the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods were compared with the least disadvantaged, the fecundability ratio demonstrated 25% and 23% reductions in the respective fecundability.
A subgroup analysis focusing on ADI ranking demonstrated an inversion association of ADI with fecundability in households with annual income of less than 50,0000 USD. However, the results were less striking when adjustments were made for race, ethnicity, and education.
The findings of this study highlight the important of strategies aimed at reducing socioeconomic divisions to improve reproductive health and fertility within deprived communities.