Apr 25, 2014

Resolve to Know More

As promised in my NIAW kick-off post, I have posted a fact about infertility and it's effects on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram each day this week.

Instead of five randoms about my week, for Five on Friday this week I am sharing these facts with some more color and links to other great bloggers on the subjects. I really encourage you to "Resolve to know more."
As I have said multiple times, we are one of the 1 in 8 who suffer from infertility. Look around your circle of friends. Look at your Facebook friends list. Look at your blogroll. 1 in 8 couples. People you know and interact with daily are suffering from infertility, many silently and alone. Be sensitive in your words and actions.
Infertility is diagnosed after a couple unsuccessfully attempted to get pregnant for 12 months (or 6 months if over age 35) or if a couple experiences multiple miscarriages. After that point, it is time to seek medical help! Treatment options are varied and frequently successful. Their are hormonal treatments, acupuncture, ovulation induction (from hormonal drugs typically), clomid, IUI, IVF, IVF with ICSI, egg donation, sperm donation, surrogacy, and even full embryo adoption. If those don't sound like good options to you, infertile couples also look towards adoption and some make the choice to live childfree. All of these choices are emotional and hard. To read about one couples journey from treatment to adoption check out her blog post. But all are valid. The first step though is to seek medical treatment.
Infertility doesn't end with a positive pregnancy test. Pregnancy itself poses many hurdles and these are even one so for couples who have experienced infertility. From miscarriage, to stillbirth, to prematurity, a positive test is only the beginning. In fact, ART (assisted reproductive treatments) are associated with higher risks of all of these things. You may be asking why anyone would undergo ART knowing their risk of complications was higher, but the reality is these percentages are still very very small even if relatively higher than for a spontaneous pregnancy. For more on prematurity after infertility please look at this post by an infertile micro preemie mom. It's a hard read, but oh so honest and oh so important.
Infertility is a disease that effects both men and women. In fact, 30% of infertility issues can be attributed to the male partner. 30% of issues can be attributed to the female partner. For 10% of couples the issues are attributed to both partners. His and Hers Infertility issues. The remaining 20% of couples have "unexplained infertility" and may never know what is causing their difficulties. For Casey and I, the issue was me. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and DOR (diminished ovarian reserve) as well as an issue (never labeled) with ovulation (as in it doesn't happen). It is easy to think of infertility as a women's health issue since it is the female who gets pregnant. But it effects men too! Not only can the actual medical issues stem from the male partner, but the guy goes through the emotional turmoil right alongside his wife. Don't forget the men of infertility in your life.
Infertility is not a choice. While deciding to expand your family is a choice, the medical problems associated with infertility are about more than just family planning. The tests run by reproductive endocrinologists do more than just help a woman get pregnant. They also give important health information. This is just one reason why it is incredibly important that insurance companies recognize the importance in covering these visits. I am fortunate to live in one of the 15 states that requires insurance companies cover infertility treatments (although our coverage was pretty pathetic at least we had something!) Advocacy is needed to help people recognize the importance of medical coverage for fertility.


  1. Great post! It is always good to be educated on something you may not be too familiar with whether you are trying to get pregnant or not! Glad I cam across your blog and got to know your story! Hope you guys have a great weekend! xoxo

  2. Great post!! It's great to educate people on infertility. It's more common than people think. I suffered from secondary infertility which was hard, but I know it is so much more difficult for folks that are just praying and hoping for a baby! Thanks for sharing.