Last year, according to the World Happiness Report, Denmark was named the . Why? The main reasons included high GDP per capita, promise for maternity leave, gender equality, biking, and drinking wine in the cold weather. Denmark is, however, having a problem with some of the lowest birth rates in its history: 10 babies born per 1,000 women in 2013. This is leaving the country worried about its future, particularly in regards to who will take care of the aging population.
This downward trend in births is on the verge of hitting epidemic levels, according to medical professionals. The reports that on average most couples explain they hope to have two or three children, but more than one in five couples never have children; the 1.7 child per family rate is not enough to support the current population. The problem with the low birth rate can be attributed to decreasing numbers of fertile women of childbearing age, couples waiting until they’re older to have their first child, and some research showing that Danish men, in general, have low sperm quality.
Danish researchers believe that while waiting until an older age to conceive has many benefits, reproductively speaking, this creates a great deal of fertility issues among couples. More and more couples over the age of 35 are relying on fertility treatments for conception, and the public has forgotten that, in terms of becoming pregnant, the egg quality has already begun declining; currently, one in ten children in Denmark are born as a result of fertility treatments.
In response to the growing issue, Danish travel company, , is encouraging Danish citizens to contribute in reversing the low birth rates by offering rewards for conceiving a child while on vacation. This week, a video was distributed that explained the “Do It for Denmark!” campaign with a young attractive couple having baby-making on the mind while taking a trip to Paris (See video below). Danish couples will be offered travel discounts if they go during the time the woman is ovulating because this is the period of the menstrual cycle where fertility is likely to occur. Additionally, if the couple can prove they conceived on the trip they will have the chance to win free baby material, as well as a trip for the family after the arrival of the child.
Furthermore, many medical professionals are recommending government intervention. One proposed solution is to lift the law that women cannot keep their eggs frozen in Denmark for more than 5 years. Removing this regulation can give women greater options for having young eggs at any point in their life. Jørgen Grinsted, a physician at a private fertility clinic in Denmark, believes that women should be until 46 because that is the age women are viable for receiving fertility treatment in the country. I believe this is a valid recommendation because removing the restriction would likely increase the rate of fertilized eggs being produced.
While Spies Rejser has made the first attempt at addressing the growing need for babies in Denmark, the question of whether or not their efforts will work is at the forefront. While the “Do It for Denmark!” video is quirky and fun, they do make some valid points that seam feasible. With that, do you believe raising awareness about the issue will have some impact? Or is it the responsibility of the government to make a greater effort?
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