Have there been changes in fertility requirements?

In western society, the survival rate of babies and infants has improved and most couples avoid having large families. Quality of life rather than quantity is the pre-re Quisite. Effective family planning methods, such as the combined oral contraceptive pill, allow modern couples the facility to delay childbearing until socially convenient. In France, the average age of first pregnancy is 28 years compared to 24 years in 1970 and there has been a doubling in the proportion of women giving birth for the first time after 30 years of age since 1972. There was a 25% increase in the number of couples re questing infertility services in the USA from 1982 to 1988. The prevalence of infertility remained unaltered over a ten year period but the proportion seeking medical assistance increased. Furthermore, there has probably been an increase in the number of visits to fertility clinics per couple in association with the increasing number of available treatments. Reproductive medicine is a popular topic, and the media including magazines, newspapers, radio and television serve to inform the public of the advances in medical technology. Only fifty years ago treatment of infertility was relatively primitive. We have now reached a state where even with azospermia (absence of sperm in the man's semen), it may be possible to aspirate (a needle is introduced into the scrotum) a few sperm and achieve fertilisation by intracytoplasmic sperm injection into the oocytes (eggs -25).

Related Medical Abstracts - Click on the paper title:-

  • Allocating fertility services by medical need (2001-01)
  • Age, the desire to have a child and cumulative pregnancy rate (1997-01)

    Women's Health

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