Infertility is the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sex. Roughly 10% of couples in the United States are affected by infertility, that’s 7.3 million people. One of the common misconceptions is that couples facing infertility cannot get pregnant, but the truth is, if infertile, it is just more difficult to become pregnant. Another less-well-known-fact is that women are not the only ones struggling with fertility; men do too.
Every woman has a certain number of eggs, therefore, each year that passes, the number and quality of the eggs lessens, whereas male infertility is generally caused by azoospermia (no active sperm cells) or oligospermia (very few active sperm cells). Women’s infertility issues can be related to ovulating, endometriosis, or blocked or damaged tubes. The chances of having a baby drop 3-5% every year after the age of 30, for most women. For men, infertility can be caused by abnormal sperm production, problems with delivery of sperm, or even general health issues like poor nutrition, obesity, or the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Cystic fibrosis or chromosomal abnormalities can also affect the fertility of both men and women.
Experts at the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 1/3 of infertility cases are contributed to women, 1/3 to men, and 1/3 are unexplained. Sometimes infertility is due to a single cause, but other times it can be contributed to a combination of factors. Today, there are many different kinds of treatments from medical to herbal, but studies have shown that 65% of women who seek medical treatment do give birth.
If you are struggling with infertility, you are not alone. If you know someone who is struggling with infertility don’t be hurtful. Infertility is a medical, sometimes unexplained, condition that can cause stress and the best way to help is not to offer advice based on personal experience since the act of conceiving is already so personal. If you are considering treatment please learn more about our procreation grant that is awarded four times per year. We are here to help.