· Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent and unprotected sex for at least one year (or for at least six months if the woman is age 35 or older).
· If a woman is able to get pregnant but has suffered multiple miscarriages she also qualifies for a diagnosis of infertility.
· Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system, which means it is a real medical problem although it sometimes has unexplained causes.
· 10-15% of American couples are infertile.
· Approximately 30% of infertility is due to female factor and 30% is due to male factor. Sometimes infertility results from problems in both partners.
· Secondary infertility refers to the inability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term following the birth of one of more biological children.
· Endometriosis - A disorder where tissue that composes the inside of the uterus is also found outside of the uterus.
· Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – A hormone disorder.
· Luteal Phase defect – A disorder where the lining of your uterus does not grow properly each month.
· Ovulatory Disorders – A disruption of normal ovulation patterns.
· Early Menopause – The cessation of menstrual periods before the age of 40.
· Uterine Factors – Abnormalities of the uterus.
· Fallopian tube damage or blockage
· Male factor – Includes structural abnormalities, sperm production disorders, and immunologic disorders
Seeking Medical Help
· Only a qualified medical professional can properly diagnose infertility by conducting a complete fertility work-up.
· Ob/Gyns and Urologists who are specialized in the treatment of infertility are board certified in reproductive endocrinology.
· Consult a physician if you have been trying to conceive for at least one year or for at least 6 months if you are over 35.
· The following also warrant a consult with a physician: if you are over 30 and have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, painful periods, miscarriage, or irregular cycles.
· RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association provides a directory to help you find a specialist in your area (http://www.resolve.org/resources/directory-of-services.html)
Seeking Emotional Support
· The experience of infertility creates many challenges for the individual and also for the couple’s relationship.
· It is important to know how to find emotional support in order to cope with the emotional ups and downs relating to the frustration of not getting pregnant, medical treatment, uncertain outcomes, financial problems, and difficult decisions.
· Some of the difficult emotional responses one may face include: loss, anger, frief, denial, shock, shame, guilt, social isolation, and depression.
o Having difficulty getting pregnant can cause as much grief as losing a loved one, (Linda D. Applegarth, Ed.D.).
· Support groups have been found to be one of the most beneficial ways to help women cope with infertility. Here are a couple of options:
o West Jordan General Infertility Support Group. Meets on the second Thursday of each month from 7:00PM to 8:30PM. Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org.Infertility Support Group for Women. Contact: Kerstin.email@example.com