Fertility Rates Down; Conception Age Up

If you are in your late 30’s or early 40’s and trying to conceive, you are right in tune with current trends.

New data about the country’s collapsing fertility rates has emerged and concern has deepened over what’s causing the changes, whether it constitutes a crisis that will fundamentally change the demographic trajectory of the country — and what should be done about it. Women are now having fewer babies and at older ages than in the past three decades, a change that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported this year, and which was confirmed with the release of additional data that shows that the trend holds across races and for urban and rural areas.

The CDC said that the total fertility rate — a theoretical figure that estimates the number of births a woman will have in her lifetime — fell by 18 percent from 2007 to 2017 in large metropolitan areas, 16 percent in smaller metro areas and 12 percent in rural areas. A similar downward trend holds for white, black and Hispanic women. Theories — social, economic, scientific, environmental — about why fertility is falling so sharply in the United States abound. Many agree that cultural shifts, such as women getting married later and focusing on education or work, play a big role. But there’s considerable debate, some of it more political than evidence-based, about other possible causes. Some have even wondered whether the decline might be influenced by sperm quality. Recent medical journal publications have indicated that exposure to pollutants might be harming reproductive health, including the motility and quantity of sperm, which could delay childbearing and overall fertility.

My opinion is that it is due mostly to societal trends: delayed childbearing because of later marriage being delayed for education and careers. Then with a late start, fewer children when one’s fertile window closes.

These attempts at childbearing later in life can lead to more difficulty conceiving. And that’s where we at Reproductive Partners come into the picture. If you are that more mature reproducer and experiencing difficulty I urge you to seek help sooner rather than later which will hasten the process and hopefully give you the time and resources to have the size family you want.

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