Fertility Blog

The State of Infertility in America

Infertility in America 2015.1

Here’s a glimpse at evolving perspectives and practices around family planning.

Overconfident about future fertility? Of those surveyed, 91 percent of those actively trying and 95 percent of those who expect to have children in the next five years are confident they will be successful.

For Millennials, some of this overconfidence may come from a strong belief in technology. Sixty-five percent believe they shouldn’t worry about infertility due to advances in technology. At PFC, we’re the first to applaud advances in ART. Fertility preservation, for example, is opening doors for many of our patients. We see more and more Millennials talking about egg freezing.

Waiting to have children. Overconfidence partly explains why many Millennials report they will wait to have children until after they turn 30. This is a change from 2006, when the average age of a mother at the birth of her first child was 25 (up from 21.4 in 1970).2

Financial worries are likely also a part of the picture, however. Between 2007 and 2012, birth rates among women in their 20s declined by more than 15 percent—possibly a response to the Great Recession.3

Delaying childrearing is a trend that has been growing for some time, but waiting until age 30 can be a problem. That’s because a woman’s best reproductive years are in her 20s. The reality is that a healthy, 30-year-old woman has only a 1 in 5 chance of conceiving naturally each month.4

Awareness about IVF. Despite an apparent affinity for science and technology, Millennials still have a few outmoded beliefs about IVF practices. For example, 87 percent—even more of those actively trying or expecting to within the next 4 years—still believe it is necessary to transfer more than one embryo to improve their chances of conceiving.

The reality? Combining comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) with single embryo transfer (SET) allows patients to achieve comparable delivery rates, while lowering the total cost of care.1 At PFC, implantation and ongoing pregnancy rates of 50–75 percent are routine after single embryo transfer, regardless of age.

Support needed. The survey also reinforced how stressful infertility is: In fact, 55 percent felt infertility was more stressful than unemployment and 61 percent more stressful than divorce. This is why PFC offers such a wide range of counseling and support workshops for our patients.

In addition, on the heels of much news coverage on the topic, infertility benefits are apparently a growing concern. Seventy percent of Millennials—and 90 percent of those who have experienced fertility—would switch jobs to gain fertility benefits, if needed.

Sources

  1. Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey: Infertility in America 2015 Survey and Report.
  2. Mathews TJ, Hamilton BE. Delayed childbearing: More women are having their first child later in life. NCHS data brief, no 21. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009.
  3. Urban Institute: Millennial Childbearing and the Recession.
  4. ASRM: Age and Fertility: A Guide for Patients.

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