An infertility diagnosis is one that can throw a couple’s or an individual’s life for a loop. It can take the dream of growing a family on a completely different path than they might have been planning for. That’s why, this April 22nd – 28th, we urge all of our patients to help us bring more light to this common but life-altering condition with National Infertility Awareness Week. We are celebrating it with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Awareness Association. This organization’s goals include advocating for access to care and proper coverage, awareness, support, education on infertility, as well as education centering around all family building options.
What Is Infertility?
Some people view infertility as a woman’s problem, but it’s actually a diagnosis that can affect both men and women. Infertility is clinically defined and diagnosed as a failure to get pregnant after 12 months of regular, unprotected sex. It’s not an uncommon diagnosis and affects 1 in 8 couples. It is estimated that one-third of infertility cases are attributed to the female partner, one-third to the male, and the final one-third as either a combination between male and female partners or simply unexplained causes.
While infertility can affect anyone, there are certain risk factors that might put someone at a higher chance of an infertility diagnosis. For women, weight can have an effect on ovulation and cause abnormal cycles and hormone imbalances, all which can make getting pregnant more challenging. Your age when you start trying to conceive can pose challenges, as well as diseases like diabetes, lupus, asthma, hypertension, sexually transmitted diseases, and a host of other factors. For men, infertility can stem from exposure to hazardous substances as well as drugs. Certain operations or medical conditions can also contribute.
Why Should We Be Discussing Infertility?
Being officially diagnosed with infertility can come as a shock to some people who are actively trying to build their family. Many don’t know they’re infertile until trying to get pregnant, so trying in vain month after month with no success can be an emotional roller coaster. Since it can come as a surprise diagnosis for many, patients often seek as much information as possible to understand their condition. Causes of infertility can vary from couple to couple, with some of them being unexplained. By opening up the conversation about infertility, we can all help those who are going through the process to feel more understood and less alone.
Additionally, even though it is a commonly diagnosed medical condition, only 15 states have infertility insurance laws. This leaves couples who need fertility treatments stuck with the high cost, which is unaffordable for many. By bringing more awareness to infertility, we’re hoping to bring about change to how healthcare providers and insurance companies handle the diagnosis and health care costs for those affected.
What Can I Do To Help My Chances?
Some causes of infertility are not fully understood or predictable, meaning it’s not always possible to change your outcome. However, by paying attention to your health needs and regular checkups at The Woman’s Clinic, we can help monitor your ongoing health, as well as treat any conditions that could contribute to infertility. If you’re ready to get pregnant or have been trying unsuccessfully, book an appointment to understand your options.