November 14, 2023 13:08
Fertility treatments are on the rise now that Koreans marry later in life and the government shoulders part of the cost to reverse the country's declining birthrate.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 201,412 people had fertility treatments last year, a 47.6-percent increase from 2018.
The total fertility rate -- the average number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime -- was 0.78 last year, less than half of the 1.71 in 1991. The number of births plummeted from 710,000 to 240,000 over the same period.
Fertility testing is recommended for women over 35 if pregnancy does not occur after more than six months of trying.
According to the National Health Insurance Service, from 2018 to 2022 1.18 million people were diagnosed with infertility because they failed to conceive after a year of trying. About 155,000 women and 85,900 men were diagnosed with infertility last year.
Over the past five years, the number of women diagnosed with infertility has hovered between 140,000 and 160,000, but the number of men diagnosed has steadily increased.
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