Fertility

The booming business of fertility

Vials and syringes in a lab
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.

People around the world are waiting longer to have kids

Around the world, people are having kids later in life than they used to, and in the next several decades, most babies in the Western world are projected to be born to 30-somethings, according to the 2017 United Nations World Population Prospects.

Why it matters: Already, demographers and economists are concerned about the falling rate of children being born in many countries, which could ultimately cause economic instability. Having kids later in life typically leads to having fewer kids, and women who wait until their 30s and 40s are at greater risk of infertility or pregnancy complications, according according to UNFPA.

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