Events and Meetings of Italian Statistical Society, Statistics and Demography: the Legacy of Corrado Gini

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How late can you wait? Uncovering the interplay between genetics, life course postponement and infertility
Nicola Barban

Last modified: 2015-09-05


A large proportion of individuals in advanced societies complete their childbearing years without having a child. This unprecedented level of childlessness has a direct effect on lowering birth rates, contributing to ageing populations and increasing the demand for assisted reproductive techniques. As women’s ability to have children declines with age, the increase of the normative age at first birth collides with the biological ability to conceive a child. Genetic differences account for some differences among individuals in reproductive functions, behavior, and outcomes. Fertility postponement has two main effects on infertility. First it reduces the available fertilie period, second it increase the variability in fecundability, mainly due to genetic factors. In this paper, I argue that genetics should be included in biodemographic models for  the study of fertility.

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