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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

1 in 5 Couples Sterile

MOSCOW -- Sterility afflicts almost one Russian couple in five, the country's deputy health minister said Thursday.

From 15 percent to 20 percent of Russians couples today cannot have children, Itar-Tass quoted Deputy Minister Tatyana Stukolova as saying.

"In more than half the cases, this sterility is due to abortions carried out too early on the woman, or to untreated venereal diseases in the man," Stukolova said at a conference of public health experts.

In Soviet times, abortion was the main method of contraception in Russia. Now, two women in three suffer from health problems caused by abortions, according to Health Ministry statistics.