Invisible women in Bangladesh: Stakeholders’ views on infertility services

Infertility remains a neglected issue in Bangladesh’s reproductive health policy; instead, the emphasis has always been on the problem of overpopulation. As a result the dominant state ideology in Bangladesh is related to controlling fertility, and the implementation of Family Planning programmes has become a success story for the country (Ahmed and Chowdhury, 1999; Country Report, 2006). Although no epidemiological study has been conducted in the national level to know the prevalence rate of infertility in Bangladesh, a global review of infertility from the World Fertility Survey and others estimated infertility rates in South Asian countries stated 4% in Bangladesh. Another estimate of overall primary and secondary infertility in South Asia, on the basis of women at the end of their reproductive lives in the age group 45-49 years, suggests an infertility rate of approximately 15% in Bangladesh (Vaessen, 1984; Farely, 1988, cited in Kumar, 2007), which is the highest among all South Asian countries.

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