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Swedish hospitals launch campaign touting early pregnancy

Rebecca Martin · 26 May 2011, 12:23

Published: 26 May 2011 12:23 GMT+02:00

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“If you start trying earlier, you increase your chances of becoming a parent,” said Aleksander Giwcerman, professor of andrology, at the Fertility Centre, Malmö University Hospital, to local paper Sydsvenskan.

According to statistics, 15 percent of all western couples are experiencing fertility problems, but Giwcerman said that the number is probably higher than that.

And according to him, the woman’s age is a crucial factor.

“Many times we can’t pinpoint the reason why a couple don’t get pregnant, but we know that the average age of women having their first baby is increasing and that is very significant," he said to Sveriges Radio (SR).

According to Giwcerman, the average age for women to have children in Sweden has increased by about two years in the last decade and is now nearing thirty.

A woman’s fertility starts diminishing already before the age of thirty and after 35 the decline is very quick.

Behind the project is the wish to inform the public of what they can do to increase their chances to have a baby.

“They need to know that it isn’t certain that they succeed as soon as they decide that the time is right, but there are many things they can do to increase their chances. They can start earlier, and there are also many lifestyle choices that may make a difference," Giwcerman told SR.

The institutions behind the campaign also want to send a message to politicians that they need to make it more attractive for Swedes to have kids earlier on in life.

The new project is collaboration between Lund University, Copenhagen University hospital and the andrology department and fertility centre at the Skåne University hospital.

The Swedish side starts off with an information campaign aimed at the public, with an open house at the region’s clinics at the end of May.

“We want to invite the public on a regular basis,” Giwcerman told Sydsvenskan.

On the Danish side there are plans to open a fertility assessment clinic to which couples can come and find out in advance how their chances to procreate are.

There they will be able to get answers to whether they should start trying right away or if they can afford to wait a few years, through blood tests, ultrasound, sperm tests and lifestyle analyses.

Story continues below…

“You’ll be able to get an assessment of your fertility as compared to your age. If you find out that you don’t have a large egg reserve at 25 you might not want to wait too long,” Giwcerman said.

If the Danish clinic turns out a success, a Swedish equivalent may well be in the pipeline.

"We have spent a lot of time informing the public on how not to get pregnant, and now it seems that most young people today think that once the time feels right it will just work itself out," Giwcerman told SR.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:59 May 26, 2011 by Purple_Rache
I thought the "You know you're not getting any younger" comment was only reserved for my parents. Fantastic! Just give me more pressure why don't you :P
13:32 May 26, 2011 by TheOriginalBlackMan
I know a few "white" women trying to have children in their late 30's, big mistake, none of them have had children. Incidentally, for such a small country I have observe a huge amount of disabled people in Sweden, although I do live in Stockholm, but it seems like a huge amount of people who have MS, Down Syndrome, spina bifida, cleft lip/palate, not to mention genetic disease's one can not see such as hypertelorism, Hypospadias, Cystic fibrosis.

Also, a lot of white women have abortions. This usually deteriorates their chances of carrrying a child to full term, well atleast a healthy child.

I use to believe that white womens wombs were calcifying, yet I need more information on this subject. Indeed, even in the poor European countries, the replacement (2 parents having 2 children) level has sunk. So, it can not be based on lifestyle or education, since must of those women have no access to birth control.

Really doesn't effect me, since, I have 4 children, albeit from a Black woman.
13:51 May 26, 2011 by Observour

How many more are you planning to deliver and where are you going to raise them; just curious:) Actually there should be no problem in 15 years. With at least 4 wifes per man each of which is fully into procreation from the age of 8 (no! swedish law has made it 15), I believe Sweden's population can not decline,at least not in southern sweden towards the danish and norwegian boarders.
14:15 May 26, 2011 by Syftfel
The problem with this campaign is that it will encourage those who already have 5 or more children to reproduce even more and faster. The whole thing is probably a scam by the social dems to increase their electoral base, in that each additional offspring gets additional generous biiiiiiidrag. The health authorities in southern Sweden, Malmö(?), ought to re-think this campaign and ask themselves if this is not simply an effort at radically altering Swedish demographics at an even faster clip.
15:16 May 26, 2011 by Swedesmith
The new youth pastor in Stafsinge is working quite vigorously on this very problem.
15:49 May 26, 2011 by Already in use
I agree with Syftfel, the campaign won't reach the desired audience. Many women wait having children till their late 30s not because they want to but because their job situation makes having children difficult. That's especially true in academia. Read this for example


If you want women to reproduce earlier you've got to make sure it's not a long-term disadvantage for their other future plans.
15:58 May 26, 2011 by 15U
Im 29. Give me a father and good job, I will give a birth. It doesn't depends on any adv campaigns.

Just general socio-economic difficulties.
16:28 May 26, 2011 by johnny1939
Maybe some people should consider not having children at all. I wish I had done so.
16:30 May 26, 2011 by byke

Why would you need a good job to have a child?

A child, especially in it's early years will not benefit From you working.

You just need a good partner who will look after you so you can look after him, the house and any children that come your way.

It's a system that's worked for hundreds of years, for good reason.
16:43 May 26, 2011 by helveeta
Leave it the TheOriginalRacist to bring race up in every subject. I know many white women in their late 30s who've gotten pregnant no problem and I have known women in their 20s not able to conceive. I have also known black women unable to conceive so your whole white vs. black crap is worthless. The entire world is beginning to see problems with procreation because of overuse of plastics and chemicals I believe.
17:11 May 26, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
The problem is that many men will not distinguish between a young women and a teenager, thus they would be in the line of child molesters.
17:45 May 26, 2011 by star10

you are prescribing an old medicine for a new disease.
18:41 May 26, 2011 by byke

Exactly, it may be a hard medicine to swallow for some women .... But if done on a regular basis the benefits can be rewarding.
18:44 May 26, 2011 by Observour

That is not true. It is very possible to have the husband work and the wife take care of the children till she can work again.

We hear everyday 'this will prevent women from reaching powerful position as men' 'women must be equal to men' 'women must be independent' Do we really think it's possible to flaw a natural order like this without any social effect?

The excesses of male dominant social structure can be eliminated without replacing it with a female dominant one.....it simply doesn't work this way
20:14 May 26, 2011 by TheOriginalBlackMan
This article is reporting on the collective effort of the Swedish government to increase the "white" birth ratte, since it is below the replacement level in Sweden. Thus, I find it more than appropriate to site the decreasing number of births by "white" women throughout the world, even where traditional roles between males and females are adhered to i.e. Czech Republic, Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc.


"It's fairly well-known that Europe's birth rate has declined drastically in the past fifteen years or so. But compared to the replacement birth rate of 2.1 children per woman, the current Italian and Spanish rates of 1.3 are especially low. In some parts of Italy, it hovers around 1.0, a rate that is deemed "pathological." And it's not just Italy and Spain. Birth rates throughout eastern and southern Europe are equally low. Dutch and Scandanavian birth rates are somewhat higher, though at 1.7-1.8 they still lag behind the replacement level. In Germany, well over a quarter of women born in 1960 have remained childless, far more than in any other European country. In fact, Germany's population actually declines by around 100,000 per year and a very high percentage of German women believe that the optimal number of children is zero."

As I have stated before, I am not sure if there is a biological reason as to why "white" women need machines to birth children increasingly or if the great rush to perfect cloning is a back up plan for "white" population decline, nevertheless, it is happening and I doubt having "white" teenagers procreating will increase the population. However, I could be wrong.
21:23 May 26, 2011 by Enjoyourlife
Enjoy your life first before having children!!! Late 20s and early 30s is the right time. Then, you can begin to enjoy the 2nd part of life at 40. In order to have enough time to enjoy your life, limit the no. of children to two.
02:13 May 27, 2011 by jamesblish
Give me a f*cking break, why do they think people have later these days? Could it be because it's A LOT harder to get a steady job? Because it's hard to get a place of your own? Jesus christ, I know people have careers and things and I'm sure there are a lot of factors at play but by God, be a little more understanding. If I had a steady job and my life sorted, I'd love to be a dad. But I'm not going to bring a kid up as a semi-unemployed, semi-homeless academic, it's not happening. It wouldn't be responsible parenting. If they seriously think this will be solved by running a stupid campaign that doesn't get to the bottom of the problem, they're idiots.
08:20 May 27, 2011 by sushi_and_sweden
indeed. i wished to be a young parent with love and some money for children's additional education (sport, music etc). if i have a child now, i am a parent with love and some money for Disney's DVDs. probably it's a good idea for children to have healthy young parents/a young parent, rather than old who will get alzheimer's disease when the children graduated high school, but aaaaaaah.
10:37 May 27, 2011 by jamesblish
Obviously, the first sentence of my previous comment should have been "[...] why do they think people have KIDS later these days?"
13:21 May 27, 2011 by jamesblish
Please stop blaming feminism and equality for this problem (if it's even a problem). There is no conflict between the "natural order" of things and women's rights. The solution is not to roll back women's rights and make them housekeeping baby machines again. This, as stated earlier, is a socio-economic issue. I read in the paper today that public employees and higher earners are more likely to have a child at a young age than the rest of us. Obviously because the public sector takes responsibility for their employees in a way private enterprises do not (at least not to the same extent). And because people with a better chance of getting a job and making more money can take the risk of having a baby. Because a baby is a financial disaster and it will ruin you. The math is very simple. Real, steady jobs equals personal security and freedom which, in turn, equals younger parents.
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