A potential crisis in human fertility is brewing. As societies become more affluent, they experience changes that have a dramatic impact on reproduction. As average family sizes fall, the selection pressure for high-fertility genes decreases; exacerbated by the IVF industry which allows infertility-linked genes to pass into the next generation. Male fertility rates are low, for many reasons including genetics and exposure to environmental toxins. So, a perfect storm of factors is contriving to drive fertility rates down at unprecedented rates. If we do not recognize the reality of our situation and react accordingly, an uncontrollable decline in population numbers is likely, which we'll be unable to reverse. R. John Aitken's book The Infertility Trap: Why Life Choices Impact your Fertility and Why We Must Act Now (Cambridge UP, 2022) addresses, in a unique and multi-faceted way, how the consequences of modern life affects fertility, so that we can consider behavioural, social, medical and environmental changes which could reduce the severity of what is about to come.
Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland.
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