The results of the first large public survey on infertility and its treatment were published in the journal Human Reproduction this month. They show that while almost 90 per cent of the people surveyed knew about in vitro fertilisation (IVF), less than a quarter were aware of its success rate.
The authors polled 8194 adults in six European countries, the USA and Australia. Surprisingly, less than half the people surveyed regarded infertility as a disease, in contrast to accepted medical opinion.
The survey also found that when confronted with the knowledge that the cost of three IVF cycles is roughly equivalent to the cost of a hip replacement, 70 per cent of those interviewed agreed that IVF should be publicly funded.