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When's the best time to get pregnant? Use our interactive ovulation calculator to work out when you're most fertile and most likely to conceive.

Is Infertility Increasing?

5 replies

zebra · 10/08/2003 06:17

I mean, once you take into account the main "risk" factors; i.e., allowing for increasing age of first time mothers (and fathers), obesity, smoking, other lifestyle factors -- is infertility truely on the increase, at significant rates of increase, as is sometimes alleged?

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hewlettsdaughter · 13/08/2003 20:48

Hi zebra. Is it really infertility that's supposed to be on the increase - or is it just that the fertility rate is decreasing (ie less babies are being born)? I saw in the paper today that the UK's current fertility rate is the lowest on record (1.63 children per woman).

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hewlettsdaughter · 13/08/2003 20:50

Here's a link to that story if you're interested.

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aloha · 13/08/2003 21:20

I've written about this Zebra, and the evidence for a rise in infertility is very sketchy and contradictory. There are some studies showing sperm counts have fallen, but others that say they haven't. Lots of drs don't believe that there isn't a rise in infertility. It may just be that before treatments for infertility people kept quiet about it because it wasn't spoken of. Now, people come forward and get treatment.
And yes, fertility rate is nothing to do with infertility - it's just the number of children couples are choosing to have for all sorts of social and economic reasons. Also, infertility is still less common than you might think, though it is awful for those going through it. A couple of friends of mine are struggling with it at the mo and it is so upsetting for them.

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Nerthus · 14/08/2003 10:07

Mightn't it also be something to do with the fact that more people are waiting till much later to have children than they used to, therefore just being naturally less fertile because of age, rather than there being an increase in specific problems like polycystic ovaries or endometriosis or whatever? I have the sad feeling I'd have had no conception problems at all if I'd been in a position to start trying for children 10 years ago, at 30 instead of 40.

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Jenie · 14/08/2003 10:36

My friends who had children young ie 20 didn't have any problems what so ever, other than timing. But older friends who want a baby at 35 - 40 are finding it near to impossible to conceive. So I'd say that there are more problems with getting pregnant the older you get.

Friends who've been pregnant young seemed to cope better with the pregnancy than those who were older. But I'm sure that the health side of it varies from pregnancy to pregnancy.

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