A report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has found one in six people around the world experience infertility.
There also appears to be little difference in rates across high, middle and low-income countries.
The proportion of adults affected by infertility during their lives is 17.8% in high-income countries and 16.5% in low and middle-income ones.
WHO is calling for better access to fertility care across all nations.
Infertility, according to the NHS, is when a couple cannot conceive despite having unprotected sex regularly.
WHO defines infertility as a failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex.
Medical treatment for lack of ovulation or surgical procedures can be used to help women specifically, while intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are also available to assist couples with conception.
These treatments are available on the NHS, but IUI and IVF are often limited or require a strict set of requirements to qualify for access.
WHO says in most countries, fertility treatment is funded by individuals rather than national health services, which can result in financial hardship for many.
People in poorer countries spend a greater proportion of their income on fertility care compared to richer people, according to the report.
High costs are seen as a factor preventing people from accessing treatment and ultimately being unable to conceive when natural methods fail.
“The report reveals an important truth – infertility does not discriminate,” said the Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom.
He added: “The sheer proportion of people affected shows the need to widen access to fertility care and ensure this issue is no longer sidelined in health research and policy, so that safe, effective and affordable ways to attain parenthood are available for those who seek it.”
Credit: The BBC