Infertility patients keep getting younger

September 1, 2006

While fertility treatments have traditionally been aimed at women in their late 30s and 40s, an increasing number of infertility patients are in their 20s, college educated and aware that they are in their prime years to conceive. Many of these young women are reportedly seeking medical help after trying to conceive for just a few months.

While fertility treatments have traditionally been aimed at women in their late 30s and 40s, an increasing number of infertility patients are in their 20s, college educated and aware that they are in their prime years to conceive. Many of these young women are reportedly seeking medical help after trying to conceive for just a few months.

Societal trends are cited as the reason why a growing number of women seek fertility help at an earlier age. Information about fertility issues-specifically, the issue of diminished fertility as a woman ages-is prevalent in the media and on the Internet. The growth of the fertility industry itself and technological developments that have reduced the cost and risks of in-vitro procedures may also play a role in the rise of young fertility patients. Additionally, this younger generation has seen the fertility problems that the previous generation of women experienced when they put off having families to meet educational or career goals, and are taking action.

"I am happy to see more women aware that their fertility is declining by age 33 and that they should consider attempts earlier," William Gibbons, president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and medical director of the Women's Center for Reproductive Medicine in Louisiana, told the Wall Street Journal (7/13/2006). "If someone hasn't conceived in a year, having them try for 10 years is not right."