Definition - What does Fecundity mean?

Fecundity is the potential biologic capacity of an individual to conceive whether or not they intend to contribute to a pregnancy or get pregnant. Fertility, on the other hand, is the actual ability to create offspring.

Fecundity and fertility are closely related, but the difference is that fecundity is considered to be the potential number of children a couple can have, whereas fertility is the actual number of children a couple has.

Lack of fertility is infertility, which in simple words is failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected and regular sexual intercourse. This could be a reduced or lack of ability to conceive or carry a child. While a lack of fecundity is sterility, which is the inability to conceive a child.

FertilitySmarts explains Fecundity

Evidence suggests that fecundity has been on a decline and there are several factors responsible for it. Male fecundity has been affected by declining semen quality, an increase in genito-urinary malformations, and cancer of reproductive sites. Female fecundity, on the other hand, has been compromised by an increase in the incidence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, and endometriosis. Together these factors contribute to male and female infertility and have a direct effect on a couple’s fertility.

Fecundity is assessed by time-to-pregnancy (TTP) that is the number of months or menstrual cycles required to get pregnant. In fecundity-related impairments, TTP is greater than 6 cycles/months and infertility is indicated by TTP greater than 12 cycles/months.

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