Is Infertility on the RISE?

Infertility is a common problem that affects one-sixth of people during their lifetimes. But has it always been this way, and what’s contributing to those statistics? As part of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), it’s important to look at just how common infertility is and why. Is infertility on the RISE? Let’s take a closer look. 

How Common Is Infertility?

Maybe you know someone who’s shared their infertility struggles; maybe you know several. Perhaps your friends are trying IVF or your sister just experienced her second miscarriage. Maybe your coworker is exploring surrogacy to build a family with her partner. Or perhaps you have a friend who adopted after struggling to conceive. 

You may also have the opposite experience, and feel like you’re utterly alone struggling with infertility. There is still a social stigma associated with infertility, and that often keeps people from speaking about their struggles. But rest assured, you’re not alone. 

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at any point in time, approximately 12.6% of people are experiencing infertility.

Is Infertility on the RISE?

Why exactly is infertility so prevalent, and is it on the rise? As it turns out, this question is a little more difficult to answer because we currently don’t have great data to compare.

The problem is that although research has been done, methods and criteria for study participants have differed. Some research didn’t look at whether couples were actively trying to conceive, while others used different definitions of infertility, making it hard to compare the results.

What we do know is that demand for fertility treatments is higher than ever

Why Might Fertility Be on the RISE?

We’re learning more all the time about lifestyle and environmental factors that could be responsible for a rise in infertility: 

  • Obesity. Obesity is on the rise and known to affect fertility in both men and women. Obesity is also a major factor in fertility outcomes for women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
  • Cancer Treatment. While radiation and chemotherapy are life-saving, they may also cause infertility. When possible, it’s wise to preserve your fertility before treatment. 
  • Medicines. Certain medications can impact both male and female fertility. 
  • Substance Use. Alcohol, tobacco, recreational and performance-enhancing drugs are all linked to infertility.  
  • Heat. Exposing your testicles to heat over long periods of time can damage sperm. Hot tubs, saunas, and even resting a laptop on your lap for a prolonged period of time may cause the temperature of your testicles to rise above a safe level for sperm.
  • Pollution. Pollution from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, BPA, flame retardants, and exhaust fumes can all negatively impact fertility. 
  • Chemicals. Exposure to chemicals at work or in products you use at home may harm fertility. This includes phthalates and parabens, both of which are commonly found in cosmetics and many other products.
  • Age. People are waiting later than ever to have children, whether it’s for financial, professional, financial or other personal reasons–all options that weren’t always available to previous generations of women. This means means more people may experience infertility when they do decide to start a family. 

How Can You Protect Your Fertility?

The good news is you can make lifestyle changes to help protect your fertility. Getting a moderate amount of exercise and eating a fertility-friendly diet are simple changes. Limiting your alcohol use and quitting smoking can also boost fertility. And you can do your best to limit exposure to excessive heat, pollutants, and chemicals that may impact your ability to have children.

If you know you’re at risk for infertility, plan to delay having children, need certain medical treatment or are planning a gender transition, it’s wise to take steps to preserve your fertility. RISE is currently offering special 24-month financing for egg freezing and IVF treatment in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, so now is the perfect time to preserve your fertility. 

If You Think You’re Experiencing Infertility

If you’ve been trying to conceive for at least 12 months, or six months if you’re over age 35, it’s time to see a fertility specialist. You should also seek help if you’ve had multiple miscarriages or if you have known medical or genetic conditions that could impact your fertility. 

It’s always wise to schedule a consult for a fertility assessment to learn about your options. Our skillful team will carefully review your family planning and fertility goals, and create a custom treatment plan to meet those goals. 

While we still need more data to know for sure whether fertility is on the RISE, we do know that demand for fertility services is higher than ever. Call (877) 747-3267 or contact us here to learn more about options available for you.

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