Infertility in married couples on the decline

August 22, 2013

The percentage of married women aged 15–44 who were infertile fell from 8.5% in 1982 (2.4 million women) to 6.0% (1.5 million) in 2006–2010, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

The percentage of married women aged 15–44 who were infertile fell from 8.5% in 1982 (2.4 million women) to 6.0% (1.5 million) in 2006–2010, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"When you look at this downward trend, it goes against the popular wisdom of people we all know," the report's lead author, Anjani Chandra, PhD, of the National Center for Health Statistics, told USA Today.

The report, which was released August 14, presents trends and national estimates for National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG)-based measures of fertility problems among US women, and one measure of infertility among US men, using the most recently available data from the 2006–2010 NSFG. Researchers conducted 22,682 interviews with men and women aged 15–44 from June 2006 through June 2010.

Impaired fecundity was reported by 12% of the 2006-2010 respondents, compared with 11% in 1982.

The report noted that both measures (infertility and impaired fecundity) are likely affected by the upward shifts in age at first marriage and age at first birth among women, as well as trends in surgical sterilization. The researchers also noted that in light of societal trends including increased availability of fertility treatments, “it is widely recognized that estimates of infertility will vary, sometimes significantly, based on the definitions and study methodology used, particularly with regard to defining the ‘‘at-risk’’ population.”

 

 

To get weekly advice for today's Ob/Gyn, subscribe to the Contemporary Ob/Gyn Special Delivery.