No, infertility rates are not increasing. Here, fertility doctors explain three reasons infertility rates are not increasing — this is one of the fascinating morsels in 100 Questions & Answers About Infertility ! Women aren’t getting pregnant any less today than they did 50 years ago. This infertility book also explains why women aren’t conceiving babies.
“Approximately 80% to 85% of couples who are trying to become pregnant will successfully conceive within a year,” writes John Gordon, MD and Michael DiMattina, MD in 100 Questions & Answers About Infertility. “Thus infertility is defined as the inability to achieve a pregnancy within 12 months of unprotected intercourse.”
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for at least a year – and can’t conceive – then you may be coping with infertility. For everything you could think to ask about infertility and baby-making, read 100 Questions & Answers About Infertility. And, read on to learn why people think infertility rates are increasing….
Are Infertility Rates Increasing?
Infertility is an extraordinarily common disorder,” writes Gordon and DiMattina. “An estimated 25% of all women will experience an episode of infertility during their lifetime.” They say that over six million American women and their partners are coping with infertility.
This is from Kristin, in 100 Questions & Answers About Infertility:
“When you’re in the throes of infertility, desperately wanting a child while seemingly everybody around you gets pregnant on their ‘first try’, you wonder if you’re the only one who can’t get pregnant. My husband and I have been very open about our fertility problems, and once I really started to share our story with friends and acquaintances I discovered I was not alone…far from it. I have created amazing friendships with other ‘infertile couples’ I have met through Internet communities, reading blogs, and even support groups in my area.”
If you find it difficult to talk about infertility, you might find 5 Tips for Overcoming the Stigma of Infertility helpful.
According to Gordon and DiMattina, infertility rates have remained stable over the years. A common misperception is that infertility is becoming more common – but in fact it’s fertility services that are more commonly used now than before.
We Think Infertility is More Common – 3 Reasons Fertility Doctors Say We’re Wrong
We talk about infertility more. As Kristin said above, couples coping with infertility are reaching out to their friends, over the internet, and to infertility support groups. People aren’t ashamed to talk about infertility and problems getting pregnant today.
Second, more women are waiting until they’re older to have children, which decreases their chances of conceiving a baby. I know I waited – I wasn’t ready to think about getting pregnant until I was 37 years old. Now, hubby and I are struggling to conceive a child, and are trying to encourage the sperm to buck up! In 100 Questions & Answers About Infertility Gordon and DiMattina write, “Over the last generation, a significant number of women have deferred childbearing while they pursued advanced academic careers or entered the workplace.” But, this career stress affects fertility levels.
Third, more couples are seeking help because the stigma of seeking infertility treatments is decreasing. “Today, more than 100,000 cycles of advanced reproductive technologies are performed in the United States each year,” write Gordon and DiMattina. “Given that 1% of all US births are now the result of fertility treatments, most couples probably know someone with a successful outcome from fertility treatments.”
Luckily there are more fertility services available now, which do help women conceive when they can’t get pregnant on their own — if they can afford those fertility treatments, which is a whole other story!