June is World Infertility Awareness Month and, in the U.S., about 6.7 million people each year have trouble when it comes to getting pregnant.
Infertility is the inability to conceive after one year of trying for women under 35. However, if the woman is 35 or older, the time frame is shortened to just six months.
With so many struggling with infertility, there can be a lot of misinformation.
One in eight couples has trouble getting pregnant. But is fertility always a woman’s issue?
“In fact, 50% of the time, it is the man’s problem,” states Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy.
On average, 30% of infertility cases can be attributed solely to the female, 30% solely to the male, 30% a combination of both partners, and in 10% of cases the cause is unknown.
What about age? There is a lot of talk about women’s age when it comes to infertility, but a study out of Israel found a man’s age matters too! Semen quality peaked between the ages of 30 and 35 and overall semen quantity was found to be lowest after 55. And if you already have a kid, could you have infertility issues trying for a second one?
“About 11% of the reproductive population that has secondary infertility. Secondary infertility is the inability for couples who are having difficulty having a child after they’ve already conceived the first time,” says Dr. David Shin.
Experts say about 30% of infertility happens after the first child is born.
And a study in Italy found that plastics may be behind some infertility problems. Researchers found infertile couples had higher levels of phthalates, a chemical commonly found in plastics, in their urine compared to couples who were able to conceive a child. Phthalates is known to cause low sperm concentration and reduced sperm motility.