This week, April 19-25, is National Infertility Awareness Week. At the Emory Reproductive Center, we know well the pain that infertility causes those who are ready to grow their family. Infertility is extremely isolating – it can be difficult to share fertility struggles with friends who seem to conceive easily, or to face family members who continually ask about plans for a baby.
That’s why we’re happy that the theme “You Are Not Alone” has been chosen for this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week. Since infertility is rarely discussed, many people don’t realize just how common the issue is – in fact, infertility impacts 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age. What’s more, people who are unaware of how common infertility is may not realize just how many options we have to treat it.
In the spirit of raising awareness about infertility, we’d like to share some basic facts about this medical condition:
- We define infertility as the inability to become pregnant after a certain period of time of unprotected intercourse. For women under age 35, that period of time is one year; for women over the age of 35, that period of time is six months. Some patients may have risk factors that make infertility more common, such as endometriosis, and those patients are encouraged to seek assistance before six months or a year has passed.
- Infertility is not just a female problem – 30 percent of infertility cases are due to a female factor, 30 percent of infertility cases are due to a male factor, and in the rest of the cases, the cause is unknown or may be due to both a male and female issue.
- We now have more options than ever for treating infertility, including everything from intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization to egg donation and surrogacy. And in vitro fertilization, or IVF, is safer than ever before, with a lower risk of multiple births compared to years earlier.
We take the theme “You Are Not Alone” seriously at Emory – once patients initiate treatment, we put together a team that supports them throughout their entire journey with us. All of our staff members are trained in the special needs of infertility patients, and from that initial work-up to the completion of treatment, we are our patients’ biggest cheerleaders.
In addition to providing our patients with a compassionate and respectful experience, we’re proud to say that our in vitro fertilization program consistently achieves success rates significantly above the national average. It’s extremely fulfilling to know that we have helped so many patients feel less alone by successfully helping them build their families.
RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, has some wonderful resources for men and women seeking more information on infertility, as does the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. We also invite you to visit our website or to call 404-778-3401 to make an appointment and learn more about your options.
About the Emory Reproductive Center
The Emory Reproductive Center, located at Emory University Hospital Midtown, manages a range of conditions that affect reproductive health, including fibroids, endometriosis, abnormal bleeding, recurrent pregnancy loss, premature ovarian insufficiency, polycystic ovary syndrome, male infertility, and genetic disorders.
We offer testing for male and female infertility issues and the latest in assisted reproductive technologies with excellent results – our in vitro fertilization (IVF) program consistently achieves success rates significantly above the national average.
Our fellowship-trained physicians are faculty members at the Emory University School of Medicine. Learn more about our team.