Fertility rates, delayed marriage, and infertility

Ob-Gyn, Joe McIlhaney, MD, writing for the Institute of Family Studies comments on the trend for couples to delay marriage until they are older and the unintended consequences that they may not be considering. Dr. McIlhaney, the founder of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, writes that most couples don’t understand some of the unintended consequences of delaying marriage.

One, of course, is it usually delays childbearing for those who aspire to become parents.

However, not only are the number of years available for marital childbearing, but it may also make it more difficult to conceive in the first place for two reasons.

One, women who delay marriage often have an increase in the number of lifetime sexual partners and this has led to an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases for men and women.

Some of these STDs can damage a woman’s fallopian tubes and reduce her fertility.

But the main problem with infertility after age 28, which is the median age now for a woman to marry, is that in many women their ovaries are not functioning as well, also reducing her chance of becoming pregnant without newer and very expensive reproductive technologies.

For those who are led to or have to marry later, life can still be fulfilling and satisfying; however, it’s good to understand that both conception and parenting may, for many reasons, be more difficult.


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