Are Female Fertility Issues Becoming More Common?

Fertility is ever-changing. At times, you may be totally in tune with your fertility health to the point where it isn’t something you think about. Other times, you could be left wondering what your biology is telling you. There can be different answers when considering factors such as age, physical health, and family history. But overall, infertility is on the rise, according to the CDC. The worldwide average number of children per woman was 5 in 1950, and that number has dropped to 2 children in recent years. Could infertility be the reason women are having less children?

Peak fertility health for the average person, regardless of gender, starts in the post-puberty teen years and continues through their mid-twenties. There are differences in how each gender experiences their decline in fertility, and those with uteruses are faced with these changes much earlier in life. That said, there are many factors contribute to fertility health, and can account for the rise in infertility diagnoses.

Age and Fertility

Overall, Americans are having children later. Just a few generations ago, the average age of a first-time mother was 21. Now, the average age has risen to 26. The CDC states that 13% of women who experience infertility are under 30, and that number increases to 22% for women between 30-39. This is because women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, and that number begins to decline every year--by the time they’re 35, only about 10% of their eggs remain.

Not only does their egg number decrease, but the quality of their eggs also declines. This natural occurrence can be the reason many women are finding it hard to have children. However, women are not the only ones who need to be concerned. For those who produce sperm, their fertility may not be as directly affected by aging as those who menstruate, but the quality of their sperm does show a decline as they age.

Environment and Fertility

Depending on our health, profession or hobbies, our surroundings may play a factor in our fertility. Radiation affects fertility in both men and women, and certain chemicals in the air, our food, or our homes may also pose a threat. Exposure to these toxins can harm your chances of conceiving:

  • Pesticides
  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • Cadmium
  • Flame retardants

Lifestyle Choices and Fertility

What we do with and put in our bodies greatly affects our reproductive health. In order to keep your fertility in the best possible shape, avoid:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Extreme weight gain or loss
  • Excessive physical or emotional stress that results in missed periods

Knowing the realities of reproductive health as well as all of the fertility options can help immensely. If you are a woman experiencing fertility issues, you have options. Whether it be due to age, medical or biological constraints, third-party reproduction can be your path to start the family of your dreams. Egg donation, surrogacy, and sperm donation are all wonderful ways to get assistance in having a baby. Talk to one of our experts today if you have questions about your reproductive health.