What’s Up with Rising Infertility Rates?

Whats Up With The Rising Rates? - Large

Infertility is more common than most people think. Today, as many as one in seven couples trying to have a baby will experience infertility. In fact, recent studies show that after a year of having unprotected sex, 15 percent of couples are unable to conceive a child. And, after two years, 10 percent of couples had still not achieved a successful pregnancy. That’s dramatically different than it was 20 or 30 years ago. What’s more, infertility is expected to increase in the future. By 2025, almost 10 million couples will encounter problems in having a baby.

Changing Life Choices Affect Fertility

There are many reasons behind the rise, says Steven Lindheim, MD, of Wright State Physicians Obstetrics & Gynecology. Some are related to changes in our society. A few decades ago, most women had their first child at about 21. Today, that age is closer to 26 or 27. Many couples are waiting longer to start their families – they may want to finish their educations first, or get established in their careers. We see a lot more divorce now, too, and remarriages.

When people delay having a family, Dr. Lindheim explains, the passing years may include more exposure to environmental toxins and sexually transmitted diseases. Also, the older partners are, the more likely they are to have health problems, and to get treated for them. “Those treatments themselves can cause infertility,” Dr. Lindheim says.

Today, as many as one in seven couples trying to have a baby will experience infertility.

Age plays a big role, too. For couples who are under 30 and generally healthy, 20 to 37 percent are able to conceive in the first three months of trying. After age 30, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant start dropping quickly with each year.

If you are having trouble conceiving or want to learn more about infertility, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. That’s your best source for answers to your most personal questions, as well as a recommendation to a specialist if you decide to seek treatment.

Small Steps: Get checked!
If you have severe menstrual cramps, abnormal bleeding or pelvic pain, get evaluated for endometriosis.