Understanding Male and Female Fertility

If you have ever been interested in the customs of foreign cultures, chances are that you probably have come across – and even been possibly shocked – by the marriage and childbearing situation. In many foreign countries, children as young as twelve years old are getting married and actually becoming pregnant!

These fertility facts might seem strange to the people of the United States, a country where even if an eighteen year old decides to get married and have children it is considered shocking. However, in foreign countries, such early fertility situations take place because, quite simply, the life expectancy in underdeveloped countries is short.

While it might seem odd for such occurrences to happen in the Untied States today, they actually were quite commonplace in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and even early nineteenth centuries. Sure, people are living much longer now, and that is why marriages or just conception, are taking place later for people.

A girl enters her fertility phase as soon as she is able to start menstruating. The menstruation process is actually the body's way of preparing itself for pregnancy. On average, a girl starts menstruating between the ages of ten and sixteen. In some case, a girl might never menstruate, which is an indication of a medical condition such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Women who are menstruating normally can have children until they reach menopause. Menopause is a process wherein the body stops menstruating. This can happen anywhere between a woman's late forties, or mid-fifties. Often referred to as "the change", it is something that many women approach with some difficulty, since it is marked by significant fluctuations in hormones.

When it comes to the fertility capabilities for a male, that depends on two main things: The ability to maintain an erection, and the ability to produce sperm. Technically speaking, a male can maintain an erection from babyhood. As for the sperm production that usually starts happening when the male reaches his preteens.

The amount of sperm that a male has depends on several different factors. First of all, if the male has been undergoing treatment for a medical condition, that can negatively affect sperm count. However, in the case of a healthy male, the sperm count is usually directly proportionate to his age.

For example, the younger a male is, the more sperm he should have. As a male ages, his sperm count naturally drops. However, it is important to note that unlike females, males can have children at any age. This being said, the sexual peak of a male occurs when he is sixteen.

So, parents, you can't be mad at your teenage son if all he thinks about is sex – it is nature's way of preparing him for procreation. Of course, it's not the best idea to have children at that age, though! It is interesting to note that while things have changed in the United States as far as life expectancy and the views toward young parents, so far, the body has not – it is thus all part of evolution.

Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions