CDC: Women are having fewer children, waiting longer to have first ones

SALEM, Va. – Women are having fewer children and waiting longer to have their first ones. Those are the trends discovered by a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. 

Dr. Joseph troise / m.d., ob/gyn, lewisgale medical center
15:09:43 "women are choosing to have smaller families so that's why you're seeing a decrease in the total fertility rate. Whether it's because of careers or what have you, they're waiting to have families at a later age," Dr. Joseph Troise, M.D., OB/Gyn at LewisGale Medical Center.

The CDC study tracked the total fertility rates of women in different populations from 2007-2017. Across the board, rates dropped -- for women in large cities, as much as 18 percent.

The study also found women waiting until their late 30s and early 40s to have children. Dr. Joseph Troise believes some of that can be attributed to better birth control. 

"We're seeing a lot more women using contraception and we have a lot more options that we didn't have even 10 or 15 years ago," said Troise.

Troise disagrees with the stigma that older women should not have children. He says as long as women are healthy, pregnancy is possible. But if you are an expectant mother between the ages of 35 and 45, there are some risk factors to consider. 

"The things that we as obstetricians counsel women about as they become more mature is that some of the genetic issues become more prominent," said Troise.

While the CDC study does not explore the reason for women having fewer children and having them at a later age, Troise believes they are trends that could continue.

To read the full study, click here.