8 Canadian Fertility statistics and 5 reasons you may not be getting pregnant.
by Dr Unjali Malhotra
When we grew up we may or may not have taken sex education but realistically the impression was that teens needed to be informed clearly about the importance of responsible sexual health. Well, now that we are all grown up, what now? Well, hopefully some key facts can help you better understand the current state of affairs when it comes to reproductive health as an adult. This is part one of a fertility awareness blog that I am happy to share with women wanting more information to do what we do best: organize and multitask!
29.4 years: the average age of a first time mother in Canada
50 – 60%: the estimated number of women who plan their pregnancy in Canada (meaning it may be that half of all pregnancies are unplanned).
1 year prior to pregnancy: the time in which a woman should start the conversation of wanting a pregnancy with their doctor
12 week prior: the time in which a woman should start folic acid before wanting to conceive
5 – 25%: Average chance to conceive /cycle (varies depending on age and fertility factors)
8 – 15% of couples: the number of couples turning to assisted reproductive technology (fertility assistance) in Canada.
30 – 40% of fertility problems are because of the male partner so women, please ask your partner to get a semen analysis if you are having trouble getting pregnant and more importantly know fertility is not all about the woman!
5 Common reasons for infertility that you may want to address with your physician in advance of planning a pregnancy: Endometriosis, Male factors, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Fallopian tube blockage/damage due to past infections like chlamydia, ectopic pregnancy, or trauma. If you have had chlamydia, irregular and /or severely painful periods, or your partner has had infections or trauma in the past.
The key when you are trying to do all you can do be healthy and prepared is to become as educated as you can.
Dr. Unjali Malhotra is a Family Physician with extensive training and expertise in Women’s Health and University program development and improvement in Canada. She is the former Medical Director of Options for Sexual Health (Planned Parenthood). She is the creator and Program Director of a Women’s Health Residency training program for family practice residents at UBC and is the founder of the provincial HPV program through Options for Sexual Health.
Reporting, G. (2009) Family Life – Age of Mother at Childbirth / Indicators of Well-being in Canada. [online] Available at: http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=75 [Accessed: 10 Mar 2013].
Motherisk.org (2012) The Hospital for Sick Children – Motherisk – Folic Acid. [online] Available at: http://www.motherisk.org/women/folicAcid.jsp [Accessed: 10 Mar 2013].
Socalfertility.com (2013) Age and Fertility Analysis and Statistics – SCCRM | Southern California Fertility. [online] Available at: http://www.socalfertility.com/age-and-fertility/ [Accessed: 10 Mar 2013].
Medical Advisory Secretariat. In vitro fertilization and multiple pregnancies. Toronto: Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee; 2006. Available: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/ohtac/tech/reviews/pdf/rev_ivf_101906.pdf
Uptodate.com (2013) Causes of female infertility. [online] Available at: http://www.uptodate.com/contents/causes-of-female-infertility [Acc