Did the Pill Create an Infertility Epidemic?

Thanks to Tracy Morris, who first tipped me off to the article in US News and World Report on the 50th anniversary of the pill.

One of the article's more interesting points was the claim that "the pill made infertility into an epidemic." To be clear, says the author, oral contraceptives don't cause infertility, but the trend toward shifting reproduction from a woman's early 20s (when she's most fertile) to her late 30s or early 40s (when fertility is on the wane) has dramatically increased since the pill became widespread.

So, what's the message? That the first contraceptive that empowered women in their sexual lives actually punished them for doing so? Couldn't the same be said for more women entering the workforce, or getting college educations, or breaking the glass ceiling and taking on higher-level administrative positions?

Where's the headline that says "College causes Infertility"?

or how about,

"Sexual harassment-free workplaces cause infertility"?

After all, if a workplace is safe for women then it might encourage her to work and not have babies. You know, while we're at it, let's tell our daughters that every single thing in the world that empowers them - the right to choose when to have a baby, the right to work in a safe place, the right not to be passed over for a promotion because of one's gender, any form of education or advancement leads to infertility.

And yet, delaying childbearing does impact fertility and may involve planning and making tough choices. That headline isn't nearly as sexy as giving in to age-old scare tactics and tired mantras.


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