Nearly half of women and men do not seek medical help for infertility

News on Monday, 22 August, 2016

One in eight women and one in ten men have experienced infertility, yet nearly half of them have not sought medical help, according to a study of more than 15,000 women and men in Britain published in the journal Human Reproduction.

The study found that, of those who reported experiencing infertility (defined as unsuccessfully trying to become pregnant for a year or longer), 42.7% of women and 46.8% of men did not seek medical help for the problem. Those who did seek help were more likely to have higher educational qualifications, better jobs and, among those who had a child, to have become parents later, compared with those who did not seek help.

The authors analysed data from 15,162 women and men aged between 16 and 74 years who took part in Britain’s third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) between 2010 and 2012.

They found that the prevalence of infertility was highest among women aged 35-44 years and among men aged 35-54. More than a third of women who became mothers aged 35 or older had experienced a period of infertility compared to fewer than one in ten women who had their first child before the age of 25.

Infertility was most likely to be experienced by people who were married or cohabiting at the time they were interviewed for the study, probably reflecting the fact that those in stable relationships were more likely to have attempted pregnancy and therefore become aware of fertility problems. Experience of infertility was more common among people with higher socio-economic status, including women who had a university degree and both women and men in managerial, professional or technical employment, compared to people in lower status, routine occupations.

Jessica Datta from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who led the research, said: “We were surprised that almost half of the people in our study who had experienced infertility had not sought help.”

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Distressing sexual problems reported by at least one in ten young people in Britain

News on Monday, 22 August, 2016

Climaxing, erectile dysfunction and lack of interest in sex are main issues, with young people rarely seeking professional help.

Around one in ten young men and one in eight young women in Britain who are sexually active have experienced a distressing sexual problem lasting at least three months in the past year, according to new research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The study showed that very few young people experiencing difficulties had sought professional help about their sex lives. The researchers say that failing to address problems in early adulthood could potentially affect sexual happiness and relationships in the future. The findings come from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) – the largest scientific study of sexual health lifestyles in Britain – carried out by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UCL and NatCen Social Research.

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How young people learn about sex – March 2015

News on Monday, 27 April, 2015

Two recent articles have been published in the BMJ Open:

The objective of the first was to assess the progress made in meeting young people’s sex education needs in Britain by examining the current situation and changes over the past 20 years in sources of information about sexual matters and unmet information needs.

The second article aims to examine variation in the source of information about sexual matters by sociodemographic factors, and associations with sexual behaviours and outcomes.

Sex by Numbers

News on Monday, 9 February, 2015

Sex by Numbers: The Statistics of Sexual Behaviour by Professor David Spiegelhalter draws on the Natsal data and answers crucial questions such as – What are we all doing? How often? How has it changed?

Natsal in the News!

News on Wednesday, 25 June, 2014

BBC News, 26/11/13

Modern life ‘turning people off sex’

The Guardian, 26/11/13

One in 10 women have been forced into sex against their will, Lancet study says

The Telegraph, 26/11/13

Women more liberated as their attitudes to sex change

Natsal-3 Symposium: Wednesday 27th November

News on Tuesday, 26 November, 2013

We are pleased to invite you to a symposium where we will be presenting the initial key results of the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal 3) which are due to be published in the Lancet on 26th November.

Natsal 3 is a probability sample survey of over 15,000 men and women aged 16 to 74 resident in Britain interviewed in 2010/12. Natsal is a collaboration between investigators at University College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Public Health England, NatCen and Manchester University.

Admission: Free to attend and open to all.  Registration required.


Natsal-3 results published

News on Tuesday, 26 November, 2013

The results of Natsal-3 have been published today in The Lancet

Website Launch June 2013

News on Wednesday, 19 June, 2013

Welcome to the new Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health website which has been launched this month. Check back soon for more news.