Decreasing Fertility Rates in the US

Reproductive rates and fertility rates among US women fell from 1990 to 2014, in spite of a spike between the mid-90s and mid-2000s, according to data from the CDC. The report shows that both the total fertility rate and the total gross reproduction rate declined by around 10 percent during that time. The decline in both rates was noticed among women of all races except Cuban American women.

The potential impact of current fertility patterns on reproduction is measured by the total fertility rate. This rate looks at a hypothetical cohort of 1,000 women and indicates the average number of births expected in that cohort based on the birth rates observed in a given year. In 1990, the total fertility rate was 2,018.0 births per 1,000 women in the hypothetical cohort and by 2014 that number had fallen to 1,862.5 per 1,000, a decrease of approximately 10 percent. The rate initially declined five percent from 1990 to 1997, but then it increased again from 1997 to 2007 by eight percent. From 2007 to 2013 the rate dropped again by 12 percent, with a slight increase of less than one percent between 2013 and 2014.

The report states that the total fertility rate between 1990 and 2014 was below replacement level every year except 2006 and 2007. The replacement level is the level where a generation can replace itself exactly and is considered to be 2,100 births per 1,000 women.

The total gross reproduction rate also declined by about 10 percent during this period. This rate again looks at a hypothetical cohort of 1,000 women, but this time represents the average number of daughters born based on age-specific birth rates in a given year. It is similar to the total fertility rate, but represents only female births because the reproduction rate is heavily dependent on the number of females. The total gross reproduction rate dropped from 1,015 per 1,000 in 1990 to 909 per 1,000 in 2014. Like the total fertility rate, this rate also declined from 1990 to 1997, rose between 1997 and 2007, then fell again through 2013 with a slight increase between 2013 and 2014.

Declining birth rates lead to a decline in population. This is measured by the intrinsic rate of natural increase which determines the rate of population size change based on the continuation of the birth and mortality rates of a given year. A negative rate shows population decline, while a positive rate signifies population growth. The rate was -3.7 per 1,000 population in 2014, and was negative throughout the period studied except in 2006 and 2007.

The report from the CDC shows that fertility and reproductive rates have been decreasing among US women in recent years, impacting women regardless of race. The good news is that as fertility rates have been decreasing, infertility treatments have improved in recent years, offering hope to many couples who experience difficulties getting pregnant. If you are considering infertility treatment, contact us to make an appointment and learn more.

Posted in Infertility, Study

Infertility and Your Emotions

Experiencing infertility can be like riding a roller coaster that you can’t get off. The ups and downs keep coming on a regular (or not-so-regular) basis as couples plan for ovulation, endure the two-week wait, experience the sadness and frustration of a negative pregnancy test result, then pick themselves back up to try again. For couples in fertility treatment, there is the added stress of new procedures, hormone treatments, doctor visits, endless scans, and significant financial speculation. Infertility is a full-time emotional job. Most couples find out that they are infertile as a result of being unable to conceive, and it can often come as a shock. It is a devastating prospect, and it’s completely understandable to feel like an emotional wreck sometimes. Here are a few things you to remember during particularly difficult times.

It’s not uncommon for one (or both) partner(s) to feel inadequate, as though they are personally broken and unable to fulfill their biological role. This is a very typical emotion for people struggling with infertility, and it’s one on which you definitely don’t want to perseverate. The way forward is to focus on what you CAN and want to do. Continuing to try naturally, pursuing fertility treatment in its various forms, considering adoption or fostering, or choosing to live a life that is fulfilling in other ways besides being a parent are all valid, very personal choices, and they can all be positive and life-affirming. This is not a personal failure on your part. You are more than your biology.

It’s okay to bow out of baby-related social events, un-follow those friends whose newsfeed is a constant baby-fest, or just cocoon in your closest circle of family and friends for a while. If you find yourself here too long, however, seek professional support. There are counselors who have devoted their practice to helping people navigate the tough emotional terrain of infertility. Don’t let your infertility lead you into depression. If you have already landed there, get help now. A support system is vital on this journey.

It’s normal to feel some strain between you and your partner. Sex often becomes a baby-making mission and loses its charm for one or both partners, who may feel their sex cells are more now important than they are in the bedroom. Be intimate even when you’re not in a fertile window, and reconnect with your partner sexually. Show each other some love that’s just about you two. This will help you to continue supporting each other and avoid the common pitfall of resentment.

Infertility is tough. Battling, working through, and coming to terms with it is a struggle with stress levels that studies have shown are not unlike those of cancer patients. Give yourself a break and realize that you are not alone in your emotional relationship with infertility. Be objective when you can, be kind to yourself, get help when you need it, and protect your relationship with your partner. These key elements will help you deal successfully with the tough emotions surrounding infertility.

Posted in Blog, Depression, Infertility, Lifestyle

Common Infertility Myths

We live in the age of information. For any given subject, there is a plethora of data at our fingertips. Unfortunately, not all of it is factual. This is especially true when examining fertility, and more specifically- infertility. Infertility is a very complex thing and while there are some truths about this subject, some are only old wives’ tales. Because of its complex nature there is a lot of confusion. Let’s examine a few myths about fertility. Read more ›

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What is Secondary Infertility?

secondary infertilityIn a perfect world, you have a baby and then, when and if you decide to grow your family further, you have another baby. For some, the road to pregnancy and fertility happens just as they imagined. For others, there are bumps and detours along the way.

Read more ›

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How Does Cancer Treatment Impact Fertility?

preserving fertilityWomen that are being treated for cancer may have questions about preserving their fertility if they haven’t had children yet or are planning to have children in the future. It is important to know how cancer treatment will affect fertility as well as preservation steps that can be done before starting cancer treatment. Read more ›

Posted in Blog, breast cancer, Cervical Cancer, egg freezing, Ovarian Cancer Tagged with: , ,

November is Prematurity Awareness Month

Premature Birth Infographic

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November is prematurity awareness month. By definition, a premature birth is simply a baby born before 37 weeks gestation. Because “before” can range in time, there are differing levels of prematurity.

The risk of complications surrounding premature birth lessen the closer development is to that 37 week mark, with babies born prior to 26 weeks gestation considered the highest risk.

Around the world, it is estimated that 15 million babies are born prematurely on an annual basis. Of that 15 million, more than a million do not survive. In the US, we have one of the highest preterm birth rates among industrialized countries.

While most premature births occur closer to the 37 week mark, the risk of complications surrounding premature birth lessen the closer development is to that 37 week mark, with babies born prior to 26 weeks gestation considered the highest risk. To put things into perspective, let’s break the survival rate down by gestational age: Read more ›

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast cancer awarenessBreast cancer affects hundreds of thousands of women every single year. In fact, an estimated 231,830 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year.

Just as with other types of cancer, early detection is key. This is why mammograms are so important, just as it is important to know and understand your family history and risk factors.

Here are a few breast cancer facts to keep in mind and promote awareness.  Read more ›

Posted in BRCA, breast cancer, Women's Health Tagged with: , ,

What to Research Before Starting Fertility Treatment

Trying to conceive can be an exciting and sometimes emotional time for a couple. When you find yourself struggling to conceive you may start researching a fertility specialist to help you become pregnant. However, more is involved in the process aside from making the appointment. There are some things you will need to research before going to the doctor’s office.

Fertility testing can be a long process and it is important that you have prepared yourself for this journey. By being prepared you can save yourself a lot of money and it can also help you avoid any surprises. This will also give you time to write down any questions you have beforehand. Read more ›

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Can Certain Pillows Reduce Heartburn?

During pregnancy a woman can experience some pretty severe heartburn that is both uncomfortable and can affect their quality of sleep.

The good news is that there is a pillow system being tested at a Cleveland Clinic that may help bring some much needed relief from heartburn. This pillow system is shaped like a candy cane. Not only will it provide elevation to ease heartburn, but it will also provide a side position for sleeping on the left side.   Read more ›

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Men Told to Avoid Tight Pants to Increase Fertility

Fertility experts have advised men who are trying to have a family before they are forty then they should avoid wearing tight pants.

Professor Allan Pacey has warned that by wearing tight pants it can result in there being two and a half times less fertile sperm. He has also said that the quality of men’s sperm can decrease after they are forty years of age and that studies have found that children who are born to father’s over the age of forty have an increased risk of developing schizophrenia, autism and Down syndrome. He has also stated that the average age for men to have their first child has been rising since 1970 and now the average age is 32. Read more ›

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