Legacy Report: Future of Fatherhood
Part 1: State of Fatherhood
(Full report available here)
Male fertility has declined 50-60 percent in just two generations. On average, sperm count is dropping 1 percent every year, with no sign of slowing down. At Legacy, we are fortunate to help men move from curious about their reproductive health to feeling more secure about their future. At the same time, we have seen an increasing focus and blame put upon women for fertility issues among man-woman couples. To address this educational gap, Legacy set out to survey and report findings in an attempt to spread awareness around the crucial issue of male fertility.
In Legacy’s first Future of Fatherhood Report, we summarize key issues and data surrounding male fertility and call into question demystify the idea that fertility is a “woman’s issue.” Let’s start with the data and trends:
- Over the last 40 years, sperm counts in the Western world declined 59.3% while sperm concentration dropped 52.4%.
- Since the 1970s, the median age of men getting married has increased 6.5 years from 23.5 to age 29.
- For the first time, more women are giving birth in the 30-34 age range than 25-29.
This small sample of data speaks loudly to why infertility issues have become more frequent and a booming industry in the last decade. Today, 1 in 7 couples are infertile and according to the CDC, the US fertility rate fell to an ‘all-time low’ with less than 2 children per woman in 2018. Why is this a problem? In order to ensure stability in the global population, the average birthrate needs to be 2.1 children per woman.
In the last four decades, we have seen various changes and challenges in our society that have greatly impacted the birthrate. Shifting family households can be attributed to various historical and cultural factors including deployment during war, HIV/AIDS crisis, economic strifes, and people generally delaying marriage. Social impacts, chemicals, as well as health and environmental factors, have been linked to the dramatic decline of sperm count in the last four decades. More recently, cell phone radiation has been studied as potentially harmful to sperm count.
In our next blog post, we’ll explore the disproportionate blame that women receive around infertility issues.
For further information, you can read the full Future of Fatherhood Report here: