Medfem Shares Five Fertility Facts on International Women’s Day


At Medfem Fertility Clinic, we are passionate about women and their unique role in perpetuating the miracle of human life through their ability to bear children. For this reason, we wholehearted support opportunities that allow us to raise awareness of issues that affect women and their reproductive rights.


In addition to celebrating our local Women’s Day in South Africa, we also participate in International Women’s Day, as many of our patients are international visitors to our world-class facilities – and for a number of very good reasons!


In this article, we align our message with that of organisations around the world, help raise awareness of some of the most pressing issues women face with regard to their reproductive rights, and discover why many women travel from international destinations to visit the Medfem team for world-class fertility treatment.

Supporting International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day observed on March 8 each year to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and to accelerate women’s equality.

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. It became a mainstream global holiday following its adoption by the United Nations in 1977. It is still a public holiday in several countries and is observed socially or locally in others but it is not country-, group- or organization-specific. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.

This International Women’s Day, Medfem proudly joins UN Women and the world in observing this year’s IWD under the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” and the campaign slogan #BreakTheBias, calling for a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. You are welcome to read more at or at

In particular, our team would like to raise awareness of Five Fertility Facts we believe are among the most pressing issues women face with regard to their reproductive rights and their fertility.

Fertility Fact 1 – Fertility is NOT a “women’s problem”

In many societies and cultures, infertility is automatically regarded as a ‘woman’s problem’. Infertility is often assumed to be the fault of the woman, because it is the woman who is not pregnant or able to carry a pregnancy to term.

At Medfem, we know from decades of experience and statistics that fertility is definitely no more a ‘woman’s problem’ than it is a ‘man’s problem’. In fact, men and women are equally likely to be the source of the couple’s infertility challenges: in about 30% of infertility cases, the fertility challenge is due just to the female partner, and in another 30% of infertility cases, the male partner is the source of the fertility challenge. In the remaining cases, the fertility challenge is a combination of male and female factor issues, or the cause is undetermined.

Although male factors contribute to about half of all cases of infertility, women are overwhelmingly perceived as being the party responsible for a couple’s infertility. However, the reality is that infertility affects a couple together – and it is a challenge a couple will have to face together.

Fertility Fact 2 – Infertility is widespread globally

According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, infertility is one of the most common conditions affecting the reproductive age group between 20 and 45 years across the world, with an estimated 1 in 6 couples facing infertility challenges.

In developing countries, the numbers are even higher: more than 180 million couples suffer from primary or secondary infertility according to WHO data, which is 1 in every 4 couples.

Fertility Fact 3 – The stigma of infertility is false

In many cultures, there is still a strong but false stigma attached to infertility, resulting in many childless women being isolated and stigmatised, and in extreme cases leading to divorce or physical or psychological violence.

Given that men and women are equally likely to be the source of a couple’s infertility, and the widespread occurrence of infertility among couples globally, the stigma around fertility challenges are entire false.

Fertility Fact 4 – Ovarian aging and early menopause are crucial factors

As more modern women delay conception into their 30s, increasing numbers of older women are struggling to conceive. The reason is that women’s fertility rates naturally begin to decrease significantly from as early as age 27. Consequently, increasing numbers of women aged of 35 and up are facing fertility challenges.

Women in their late 40s also enter menopause – a natural part of aging that marks the end of their reproductive years. Some women may experience early menopause (between 41 and 45 years of age) and even premature menopause (before age 40). Menopause can also be triggered by a hysterectomy or surgical removal of the ovaries, as well as treatments that damage the ovaries, such as chemotherapy.

Fertility Fact 5 – Infertility is a treatable medical condition

Infertility is a medical condition, which can be caused by an extensive list of possible causes, in both the male and the female partners.

However, there is also a wide range of advanced treatments available for the many different possible causes of infertility. These treatments have been used safely and effectively around the world for decades to overcome almost any fertility challenge.

World-class reproductive health treatment

Fortunately, for the vast majority of reproductive health issues in women and their partners, there are internationally recognised and practiced fertility treatments or Alternative Reproductive Therapies (ART) available.

What is crucial, is to select an accredited and leading fertility clinic to receive any fertility treatment. For many reasons, even international patients prefer to come to Medfem Fertility Clinic.

Established in 1980, Medfem Fertility Clinic is registered as an Accredited IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) Unit with the Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG). We also belong to the African Network and Registry for Assisted Reproductive Technology and recognised internationally the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART).

Our team of accredited reproductive medicine specialists have over 100 years of collective experience. Our fertility specialists at Medfem are nationally and internationally recognised as pioneers and innovators in the field of fertility treatment, including Dr Johan van Schouwenburg who was involved in the first successful IVF treatment carried out in South Africa in 1983.

Our reproductive medicine specialists are supported by extensively experienced embryologists; trained, qualified theatre staff, nurse practitioners and clinical psychologists; as well as specialist pharmacists and friendly administration staff, ensuring you receive the best care possible at our purpose-built medical and surgical facility, which combines consultation offices, exam rooms, state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, surgical suites and a specialist dedicated fertility pharmacy in one convenient location.

Medfem Fertility Clinic offers the full spectrum of fertility treatments and provides cutting-edge technology and medical advancements that smaller clinics are unable to provide. Medfem also invests significantly in advanced research and development (R&D) and ensures the facilities are equipped with world-class technology.

Perhaps most importantly, our primary success rate – represented by the percentage of clinical pregnancies per embryo transfer procedure (CPR/ET) – is well above the national rates in South Africa and compares to the best internationally.

If you would like to meet one of our fertility specialists, simply click here to book an initial consultation or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.

We look forward to meeting you at Medfem Fertility Clinic!


Spread the love