Is fertility declining in 2004?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Is fertility declining in 2004?
Sat, 07-10-2004 - 1:59am
I keep hearing stories about people whose mother's had them at 50, or their aunt had their cousin at 48, or their grandmother had several children after 40, etc.

I have also read that statistically, more women in the 1960's were having babies over 40, then are now.

So, I was wondering, do you think toxins, pollutants, etc. are contributing to declining fertility? What does everyone think?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-27-2003
Sat, 07-10-2004 - 3:01pm
Yes, yes, yes!

I have read about this in various sources. In the 1800s conception was much more common in women in their 40s and 50s. This has declined dramatically over the last 50-75 years. Since this corresponds pretty exactly (well, with a 25-50 year delay - which makes sense since it took years for toxins etc. to permeate the environment), there seems to be a direct correspondence to our industrial society.

I would attribute it to industrial chemicals in the air and water (water is then used for irrigation and to hydrate animals used for food), and also very much to additives to foods and to soil and animal feed.

There is no way to escape these toxins 100% (especially if we live in metropolitan areas). The only way, I think, we can try to mitigate the effects of industrial society is to eat all-organic and avoid exposure to any chemicals (I even changed my laundry and dish detergents to organic ones). However, we cannot get back 40 years of our bodies absorbing all that stuff.

I would be interested in hearing how others TTC over 40 are dealing with this, if at all.

All the best to everyone,

Lisa, 42 (43 this month, DH 46)

TTC #1 for one year

5 failed injectibles/IUI cycles

cd 23 of a "natural" cycle (not holding my breath)

Day 4 of Lupron in view of July/Aug IVF cycle

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2003
Sat, 07-10-2004 - 3:31pm
I definitely agree with this. There is also a few studies showing that men's sperm counts are 1/2 of what they were 20-30 years ago.

Lilypie Baby Days
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-27-2003
Sat, 07-10-2004 - 6:51pm

I'm not surprised about the sperm count issue.

I meant to say this corresponds with the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, but I got carried away...! Just to clarify...

I would be interested in others' views on this. I think it's such an important topic yet the mainstream (and most REs) tends to ignore it.

All the best,


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 07-12-2004 - 9:48pm
Definitely agree with this. I also think it has impacted children's health. My son is in the special ed system and last year the program directed stood up there talking excitedly about how the program is growing and growing. I wanted to smack her. The rates of autism, ADHD and speech/language impairments are going up but it is nothing to be happy about - we should be trying to find out why. We try and avoid preservatives, chemicals, ect. in our household.

Jan (almost 43, recent miscarriage 6/04, not currently TTC, but can't help lurking)

Jan & Matthew (11) - mild hypotonia, apraxia, dysarthria, autism

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-27-2003
Mon, 07-12-2004 - 9:56pm

I completely agree with you. Kids in this country are having more and more problems. How about the hormones in meat, milk and eggs and the fact that girls are now entering puberty at 8 and 9??

Our reproductive systems have been absorbing chemicals, hormones, and all manner of extraneous stuff our whole lives. Our parents before us, however, still had some connection to agrarian society, even if they lived in the city, since big farms and big livestock firms had not taken over the food industry to the extent they did during our childhood.

When I think about all the Wonder bread I ate, too!

Jan, on another note, I am truly very sorry to hear about your m/c. My heart goes out to you.

Take care,