Most people who are reaching for SpermCheck are wishing for a baby. And when a couple reaches for this simple, accessible and inexpensive kit, deep in their hearts – they are worried about conception difficulties or infertility. Most of the time, they don’t even know what they are worried about because they don’t completely understand infertility at all. The good news is that every man or woman who reaches for SpermCheck knows this much about conception: it takes two to make a baby and what is happening in the man’s body is just as important as the woman’s! So here are some fast facts about infertility to help guide you on your journey to family.
Infertility is a disease that results in the abnormal function of the reproductive system.
• Infertility prevents people from creating a family – one of the most fundamental and highly valued human activities. A United States Supreme Court decision concluded that reproduction is a major life activity as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
• Infertility affects people of all ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic levels.
• Infertility is a medical condition, not a sexual problem and not a curse! Infertility does not equate to sexual dysfunction. Infertile people are just as virile and beautiful as everyone else.
• Infertility treatment is provided by reproductive endocrinologists who are specialists in reproductive health. Though most people associate treatment with “high tech” procedures such as in vitro fertilization, only approximately 2% of patients actually need these treatments.
• Infertility puts a family on hold. It is a life stopping crisis that can affect everything a person does, from job performance to self-esteem, to important decisions such as buying a home.
• Infertility affects more than one in ten people of reproductive age around the world. It affects both men and women in about equal numbers. The mean age of those seeking infertility treatment is about 32.
• As with other serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease, infertility can lead to depression and anxiety, affecting job performance and productivity, as well as relationships with family and friends.
• Over the last two decades, few areas of medicine have advanced as rapidly as infertility.
• A majority of infertile couples build families with the assistance of a vast array of increasingly refined medical therapies and treatments, including oocyte and sperm donation.
• Infertility is not solely a woman’s problem. In fact, infertility affects men and women equally. People are often surprised to learn that 35% of infertility cases are related to the male, and 35% to the female. Additionally, 20% of infertility cases are due to combined causes between the male and female, and 10% of infertility cases remain undiagnosed. Therefore, it is very important that both partners in a heterosexual couple experiencing infertility receive a full evaluation. Easy to use over the counter tests such as SpermCheck and ovulation kits are a wonderful way to start!
• Unfortunately, many people think they should wait up to 30 months before seeking help. In reality, people should seek treatment for infertility after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. Women older than 35 should not wait longer than 6 months to see a specialist.
• For women under 30, it’s estimated that the chance of becoming pregnant in any one cycle is 20-30%. By age 40, that plummets to about 5%.
• Female fertility diminishes with age, beginning in the late twenties. The first dip in a woman’s fertility usually comes at around age 27. By age 37, approximately 50% of women will experience infertility.
• Frequently, women who delay first-time parenthood until after age 30 (about one in seven of those in their childbearing years) are stunned and furious when they discover that age compromises fertility.
• Approximately ninety percent of all women will experience infertility at age 42.
• The average 30-year-old couple will require approximately 6 months of active trying to achieve a pregnancy.
Get the facts about infertility treatment. Know that you are not alone in your quest for a baby, and sometimes the first step is just over the counter.
|Pamela Madsen was the first Executive Director of RESOLVE NYC and is the Founder of The American Fertility Association. Pamela is an internationally known fertility advocate who has appeared on Oprah and countless other major media outlets. Currently, Pamela is a fertility coach and publisher of The Fertility Advocate. She is also a blogger for Psychology Today and SpermCheck Fertility.|