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Hormones for IVF. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty

American women are having only half as many babies as they did 50 years ago, but fertility technology is becoming a bigger and bigger business.

The big picture: The number of babies born per U.S. woman has dropped from 3.58 to 1.89 in the last half century. But women still want help getting pregnant — and answers about their health outside the doctor's office.

So dozens of companies are crowding a market projected to reach $30 billion in annual sales in five years, introducing tracking apps, wearable tech and at-home fertility tests.

  • Andreesen Horowitz recently invested in Glow, a company that raised $23 million. Glow makes apps that track menstruation, fertility and pregnancy.
  • Union Square Ventures put money in Clue, which makes a competing app and raised $29 million.
  • Sequoia led funding for Maven, a virtual women's health clinic.

Other innovators in fertility tech include Meet You, a Chinese fertility tracker app that doubles as a social network; Ava, a wearable device that tracks fertility through physiological metrics like body temperature and breathing rate; and Quanovate, a device that gives real-time feedback on a woman's fertility based on urine samples.

  • "There's potential for this area to really grow," says Ja Lee, an analyst at CB Insights. "You have half the population that wants this, but there are not consumer-friendly solutions that are easy to understand."

Between the lines: Many younger women are using these new apps not to pursue pregnancies, but to avoid them, Lee says. "Even if they may not want to have kids ... it gives women info about their general health."

Go deeper: The next generation of fertility treatments

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
3 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.