08.14.136:12 PM ET

Infertility Declines Among U.S. Women

Unrelated to rise of in-vitro fertilization.

It’s not exactly a baby boom, but American couples may not be as infertile as previously thought. While some people assume that infertility is rising due to more couples turning to in-vitro fertilization and delaying marriage until later ages, a new study indicates that this is not the case. According to federal data, the percentage of married women ages 15-44 who were infertile decreased from 8.5 percent in 1982 to 6 percent from 2006 to 2010, a drop from 2.4 million to 1.5 million women. “So while infertility clinics may be more common and used more—particularly by more affluent women trying to have their first child at older ages—that's driven by a change in market, not biology,” says lead author Anjani Chandra, a scientist at the National Center for Health Statistics. The infertility level is offset by the many ways women can have a baby, Chandra says.