Are Infertility Rates Increasing? Fertility Doctors Say “No”


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.”



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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!

If you’re coping with infertility, read Feel Better About Infertility – 6 Tips for Coping With Fertility Problems.


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2 thoughts on “Are Infertility Rates Increasing? Fertility Doctors Say “No”

  • emma

    I think it could be hard to determine if infertility rates are increasing due to the widespread use of contraceptives and permanent birth control methods. Many people have 1-3 children and then turn to birth control so that they don’t get pregnant. I know that obesity can play a role in infertility, but your article doesn’t discuss the scientific evidence that sperm count in men are dramatically decreasing as mentioned in “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” and “Our Stolen Future”. In addition, I personally have been affected by secondary infertility, also, a group of my friends are all suffering from fertility issues, and we come from all walks of life. The common denominator is our age, we are not in our upper 30’s, rather in our 20’s and are all having problems conceiving or having conditions that will cause natural fertility to be more difficult. I think that as time unfolds we will see an increase in fertility issues, which are more than likely cause by environmental factors.

  • Kelly D

    Infertility might be increasing slightly due to environmental factors and diet (obesity is an issue that impact fertility). What I think is happening, though, is that people are starting to talk about it. There are more couples pursing fertility treatments too. The awareness about male factor infertility accounting for about 35 percent of all infertility is helping people understand it’s not just a woman’s issue.

    I think this is happening with Autism too. People thing Autism is increasing, but I think more people are talking about this medical condition. There is a higher diagnosis rate today than 10 years ago, but I wonder how much of that is due to the increased awareness of the disease.