What Declining Birth Rates in the U.S. Mean for You and Your Fertility
Birth rates for women aged 15 to 39 declined between 2016 and 2017, yet over this same period of time they rose for women aged 40 to 44. (According to a new report by the National Center for Health Statistics.)
This is an important figure to examine, and it’s a trend I examined in an interview with a local news station in the Bay Area last Friday.
I want all women to know it’s easy for them to understand their fertility at an earlier age so they can make a personalized action plan.
You can catch my interview here.
Ladies, listen up. I don’t want you to read this stat and think, “Oh great, I can easily get pregnant in my 40s. It’s the new trend. If others are getting pregnant in their 40s that must be the new normal and it’ll work for me too.”
It should not become the new normal! Yes, I get women pregnant in their 40s all of the time. It’s what I do. However, it’s not what I would recommend. It’s not how our fertility works.
Our fertility is fleeting. We lose it with age. We must understand and protect our fertility earlier in our lives through fertility screenings, and in some cases preserve it with egg freezing. It’s a very personal choice what you do with your fertility, but I want all women to know it’s easy for them to understand it at an earlier age so they can make a personalized action plan.
I want all women to have an easier time getting pregnant.
And you know what needs to happen for that to be true?
· Consider having your babies younger.
· Know what your fertility is through a fertility screening.
· Take care of your body and make sensible choices. (i.e Pizza, beer, marijuana…not good for fertility).
· Always put a glove on it. STDs can hurt your fertility
· Birth control pills mask infertility. You think you’re having a regular period, but it’s chemically induced. Get your fertility checked when you renew your birth control pills.
· Realize that there’s never a perfect time to start a family. All it takes is love.
Of course, I understand the factors at play with women having children later and birth rates declining overall.
I am not advocating for fighting those factors. I just want all of us to understand what they are and how they impact our biology, and then to take the right steps to optimize our chances to create the families that we all imagine.
So why are birth rates lower among younger women, and overall? I have a few speculations.
We are living longer.
As a result our major life events are happening later (marriage, children, buying a home, etc). Yet our biological clocks have not shifted. Our fertility still declines over time.
Women are also more comfortable making the choice to not have children.
There’s more social acceptance and respect, rather than shame, directed towards women who choose not to have children. We have a long way to come, but it’s better than my Grandma’s era.
The women who make this choice no longer have to feel bad about it, like something is wrong with them, or endure curious questioning. It’s their choice. That’s all.
Reproductive toxins may be a factor in our ability to get pregnant naturally.
This includes everything from the way our food is packaged to the actual food that we consume. Even the stress in our lives may be creating toxins that can negatively impact our fertility.
I hope this piques your curiosity about your own fertility, what is it and what you can do to manage it ? It’s a precious resource. I want you to know about it and make informed choices.