With an estimated 15 percent of Australian couples experiencing a fertility problem, and huge advances in our understanding and treatment of fertility issues, fertility clinics have been a medical growth industry for some years.
When looking for a fertility clinic, it’s a good idea to read widely and come up with a list of the things that are important to you, and perhaps phone or visit several fertility clinics before deciding on the fertility clinic that suits you best.
Fertility is closely related to age in both women and men. The age of peak fertility for both genders is from their late teens to early thirties.
It’s generally understood that a healthy young couple in their twenties who do not have fertility issues will get pregnant after four months of unprotected sex.
From the age of 21, fertility slowly declines with age until around 35, then declines faster until the age of 40, after which fertility decline is very rapid.
The fertility rate refers to the average number of children that are born to a woman who is a member of a particular demographic population, during her reproductive years (internationally these are nominated as the ages between 15 and 44).
In 2008, Australia set a new record for the number of births, with 296,600 births registered. The Australian national fertility rate jumped to 1.97 babies per woman, compared to a fertility rate of 1.92 in 2007.
The most common causes of male fertility problems are due to an issue with the production of sperm in the testes or a blockage in one of the reproductive tubes. In a healthy young male, around 100 million sperm are produced within the testes daily. This number declines with age and with other stressors such as poor health and exposure to heat, chemicals or radiation which all affect male fertility.
Even though male fertility issues are very common, many men who discover they have a fertility problem will feel shocked and upset by the news.
Both male and female fertility rely on a delicate balance of hormones which can be influenced by environmental factors ranging from the food you eat to toxins in the environment, stress and other emotional factors, illness and physical activity.
One of the key things that women can do to increase fertility is to be aware of your usual cycle and how external factors can influence this. For men, an understanding of their own fertility cycle and the steps to better sperm health is also a critical component of increasing fertility.