January 2004

Assisted reproduction may change birth intentions

Miller K. Assisted reproduction may change birth intentions. Fertility and Sterility. 2004; 81(3):572-581

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the development and expansion of assisted reproductive technology (ART) between 1982 and 1995 raised the birth intentions of subfecund people relative to fecund people.

DESIGN: Comparison of birth intention rates among fecund and subfecund women in the 1982, 1988, and 1995 rounds of the National Survey of Family Growth, standardized by age, parity, and education.

SETTING: No clinical setting.

PARTICIPANT(S): Nationally representative samples of married women who were 20 to 44 years old.

INTERVENTION(S): None.

RESULT(S): Between 1982 and 1995, birth intentions rose at least 2.5 times faster among subfecund women than among fecund women. This rise was not due to increasing average age at maternity over the period.

CONCLUSION(S): The development of ART and expansion of services may well have increased birth intentions among subfecund women between 1982 and 1995.

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