Infertility Doesn’t Have To Mean The End Of The Family
In the United States, 10-15% of couples have difficulty becoming pregnant. Contrary to a popular misconception, infertility is often not the woman’s fault. Infertility can be caused by male factors just as much as by female factors. Sometimes infertility is caused by both. Even if a couple has achieved a successful pregnancy once, this does not rule out fertility problems later.
Infertility can be caused by many different factors including impaired sperm production or function, complications from a previous pregnancy, complications from a previous surgery, damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus, ovulation disorders, endometriosis, age or lifestyle issues. Infertility is a medical disorder and has nothing to do with a person’s mental health or ability to have sex. Furthermore, even people who are in good health can be infertile.
Infertility treatment expectations
If a couple has been trying to conceive for up to 12 months without success, this is an ideal time to consider talking to a fertility specialist. Sometimes making this decision is not easy. Some couples may feel reluctant because of concerns that fertility treatment may not work, or that therapy will be too difficult, or too expensive.
Infertility treatment reality
In reality, many couples with infertility issues are suitable candidates for IVF treatment. Although there is no guarantee that the first or even the second cycle of IVF will result in a successful live birth, the chances are very good. The success rate for women under the age of 35 is 40%. Advances in fertility treatments have created possibilities for many infertile couples to start a family. However, limits still remain. For example, age is still a determining factor. A woman who has successful IVF treatment during early 40s will most likely have used donor eggs.
Saving some eggs and sperm for the future
Chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer can also negatively impact fertility. But thanks to cryopreservation technology, many couples have been able to preserve eggs or sperm. Both can be used later when the couple is ready to begin IVF treatment. Couples can find out more by talking to a fertility specialist.