Infertility rate declines among US couples

August 14, 2013 by Steven Reinberg, Healthday Reporter
Infertility rate declines among U.S. couples
CDC report challenges perception that problem is growing as more women seek treatment.

(HealthDay)—Despite the rise in fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization, infertility rates have actually decreased among U.S. women of childbearing age, a government report released Wednesday shows.

Infertility "decreased slightly but significantly, from 8.5 percent of married to 6 percent of married women," between 1982 and 2010, said study author Anjani Chandra.

Looked at another way, nearly 2.4 million women had problems with infertility in 1982, compared with 1.53 million in 2010, she said.

Many people may think that difficulties getting pregnant are increasing because of the greater use of in fertility treatments and in vitro fertilization (IVF), "but that's just not shown in the data," said Chandra, a research scientist with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chandra noted that many women are having children later in life than in past decades, which may involve or delays. But the rate of infertility among older women has not increased, she said.

The study also compared another measure of difficulty in having a child, known as "impaired fecundity."

"Contrary to public opinion, infertility and impaired fecundity are not on the rise among women of reproductive age in the United States," said Chandra.

Infertility is the inability of a woman to conceive after at least a year of with her husband or live-in partner. Fecundity describes the to get pregnant or carry a child to full term.

There is some overlap between infertility and impaired fecundity, but they're not the same.

"Impaired fecundity among married women and among all women 15 to 44 showed a significant increase in 2002 (relative to earlier years), but has fallen back to levels seen in the earlier years," Chandra said.

Because many delayed childbirth and took advantage of fertility treatments, there was a perception that this older, more educated and wealthier group of mostly white women were suffering from fertility problems, she noted.

Among in 2006-2010, black women were more likely to be infertile than white women, the study found.

But educational, racial or socioeconomic differences in themselves didn't have that much impact, Chandra said.

"Where the racial and economic differential comes in is in the use of medical services—it's a health care disparity," she said.

Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that "IVF and fertility are more present every day in conversation and the media, so people feel it's a big problem—everybody is having IVF."

The only difference in fertility is age, she said. "You might need more help at 44 than if you are 24," Wu added.

Wu noted that women can spend thousands of dollars on fertility treatments. For example, a single IVF treatment can run $20,000 and many women have several before they become pregnant, she said.

Among men, some form of was reported by 9.4 percent of those aged 15 to 44 and by 12 percent of those aged 25 to 44 in 2006-2010, similar to earlier rates.

The report relied on data from a nationwide survey made up of more than 22,000 interviews with U.S. men and women.

Explore further: Women conceive naturally after IVF, study finds

More information: To learn more about infertility, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related Stories

Women conceive naturally after IVF, study finds

August 13, 2013
One in three women who have their first baby through infertility treatment, become pregnant again naturally within two years of their first birth, a new study has found.

‘Infertile’ women may just need longer to conceive

February 20, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- One-in-four women with a history of infertility can still end up having a baby without treatment, a new study from The University of Queensland (UQ) shows.

Female childhood cancer survivors at increased risk of infertility

July 12, 2013
New research published in The Lancet Oncology shows that although women who survive childhood cancer are at an increased risk of infertility, if they have clinical infertility they still have a good likelihood of going on ...

Obesity doesn't reduce chance of getting pregnant with donor eggs

July 31, 2013
In women who use donor eggs to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF), those who are obese are just as likely to become pregnant as normal weight women, according to a new report.

New study published on fertility awareness among American university students

May 7, 2012
A groundbreaking study lead by Chapman University professor Brennan Peterson, Ph.D. on fertility awareness of American college students will be published in the May 5th edition of Human Reproduction—a top-tier international ...

U.S. fertility measures largely unchanged since 2002

April 12, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Fertility measures for 15- to 44-year olds for 2006 to 2010 are similar to findings from 2002, according to an April 12 data brief issued by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Recommended for you

Population health impact of infants born small for gestational age in low- and middle-income countries

August 18, 2017
In low-and middle-income countries, it is common for babies to be born of low birth weight, due to either inadequate growth in utero (fetal growth restriction) and/or preterm birth, (birth before 37 weeks gestation). Maternal ...

Hormone from fat tissue can give protection against polycystic ovary syndrome

August 10, 2017
Obesity and reduced insulin sensitivity are common in polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS. New research based on animal studies, and to be published in the journal PNAS, reveals that the hormone adiponectin can protect against ...

Study in mice may reveal insights into causes of miscarriages for some women

August 9, 2017
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have identified how natural killer cells in the mouse placenta can cause a fetus to fail to grow in the womb or cause miscarriages.

Insomnia, sleep apnea nearly double the risk of preterm delivery before 34 weeks

August 9, 2017
Pregnant women who are diagnosed with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia appear to be at risk of delivering their babies before reaching full term, according to an analysis of California births by researchers ...

Elective freezing of IVF embryos linked to higher pregnancy rates in some cases

August 1, 2017
A delay in transferring embryos to the mother improves the success of in vitro fertilization in certain cases, according to a study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Celmatix Inc. and several other ...

Negative birth outcomes linked to air pollution exposure early in pregnancy, study finds

July 27, 2017
Exposure to air pollution early in a pregnancy could increase risk for preterm birth and low birth weight, according to a study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, and published on July 27 in Environmental Health ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.