Fertility and Naughty Sounding F’s (Fecundity)
Fertility: refers to actual reproduction (fertility rates, the actual number of children
had by women, can be affected by physical, social, and environmental factors)
Fertility Rates: the actual number of children had by women, can be affected by
physical, social, and environmental factors
Fecundity: denotes the ability to reproduce
Trends in Developed and Developing Nations
Fertility rates in general are on the decline. Developed Nations account for
the sharpest decline in fertility rates
The Canadian fertility rate is 1.5 (the number to stop our population from
declining is 2.1 this is how many children women would need to have on
average to meet the replacement level – the number of births required to
maintain a stable population).
Trends Related to Declining Fertility Rates
1. Age: Women are opting to have children at a later age. As women get older
the risk of carrying a healthy baby to term decreases. I.e. after the age of
35 there is an increased risk of chilled birth defects, like Downs Syndrome
(many women will choose not to carry an unhealthy baby to term)
2. Career: Many women are choosing to start their careers before having
3. Divorce: Many couples are marrying late. Marrying late and not
experiencing a positive relationship could prompt some couples to
postpone further starting a family because they do not want a child to have
a broken home.
4. Cost: Raising a child is expensive. It is estimated that to raise a child with
the “basic necessities” until he/she is 18 will cost $164,000.
5. Infertility: Not all couples are able to have children. Couples are considered
to have fertility problems if they have been trying unsuccessfully for a year
to conceive. Stress, diet, sexually transmitted infections, and environmental
factors reduce reproduction ability.