Why Do So Many Women Have Infertility Problems?

It seems that lately many of my friends are having trouble getting pregnant. They are healthy and active, don't smoke or drink, and are between the ages of 28 and 35 years old. Why is this?

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Toni Weschler, MS

Toni Weschler is the author of the popular book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. By offering a simple and effective means of identifying... Read more

Sometimes I wonder, with the prevalence of infertility today, how did our parents ever conceive us? The simple fact is that those of us of childbearing years were born to a generation that was different in so many ways. Our fertility (or lack thereof) is the result of numerous external variables.

Women are certainly waiting longer to get married, but more importantly, to start their families. The ramifications of this simple fact are far-reaching. As women get older, their fertility begins to diminish for several reasons: Their eggs get older with each passing month, their cervical fluid stops being as abundan, and their luteal phase (the phase after ovulation) may decrease in length.

In addition, as women get older, they also have had more opportunity to be exposed to the kinds of conditions that can impact their fertility, such as STDs or endometriosis.

Finally, with todays emphasis on exercise and special diets, women may stop ovulating by decreasing their body fat to such an extent that the hormonal feedback system necessary for ovulation stops.

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