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When you’re trying to conceive, it may feel like a solitary journey. That said, you are not alone if your fertility problems are on the rise among both men and women. What are the actual facts behind these stories? With help from a private fertility clinic in London, we consider three reasons why infertility rates might be increasing.
Today’s infertility rates
According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 11.5 live births per 1,000 people in England and Wales in 2016. In comparison, there were 20.5 births in 1947. The NHS reports that one in seven couples is now having difficulty conceiving due to difficulties with reproductive technology (ART). Overall, it is predicted that around 15% of marriages are infertile in the whole world.
There are a number of reasons why rates might be going up.
While it’s true that in recent years, a growing number of couples have been unable to conceive, it may be due to modern living and social customs. Here are three key factors identified:
We are starting families later
Infertility rates have been on the rise for a long time. As we all know, fertility wanes as you get older. Infertility rates are likely to be increasing as a result of delaying motherhood until later in life. Many women do not want children until they are in their mid-to-late 30s. The emphasis is on creating and maintaining careers and financial stability before eventually settling down with a partner. Their fertility has already started to diminish by this time. Men’s sperm quality will begin to deteriorate at the age of 40, according to the same logic. A woman’s chances of naturally conceiving each month drop to 5% by the age of 40, as opposed to 20% for a 30-year-old.
External and environmental factors, in particular, have a negative impact on male fertility. This has an effect on the quality of their sperm, particularly as they get older. Heat, chemicals, toxins, and other pollutants that include being exposed to polycarbonate plastics, pesticides, and solvents have been shown to affect sperm quality. Meanwhile, X-ray and radiation exposure can temporarily reduce sperm count and quality. Unfortunately, there is a chance it may become permanent.
The factors we choose to live our lives can also help contribute to a worldwide lowering in fertility rates. Smoking, being overweight or obese and having a high BMI (body mass index) can harm natural conception. Inadequate nutrition and being significantly underweight are both problematic. Excess alcohol and drug use can both cause infertility. Extreme or long-term levels of stress have the same effect on a person’s sex drive and sperm production as severe or prolonged levels of anxiety.
The good news is that we have control over our lifestyle choices, which can influence and modify our behaviour in order to reduce the risk of infertility and the chance of having a kid through IVF.
What can you do
If you’re concerned, the time you missed to get pregnant or are worried about infertility may have passed. Then it’s critical that you consult with a doctor and explore your options. You may also increase your chances of getting pregnant by quitting smoking and drinking, keeping fit, and maintaining a healthy weight. If you’re thinking about or looking to start fertility treatment, you should pay attention to and manage the three factors outlined in this article for better IVF success.
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