Infertility is an emotionally devastating issue that most people don’t really talk about. With so many accidental pregnancies constantly happening around the world, to find out that you and your significant other are ready and eager to be parents, and yet are unable to do so, is deeply frustrating and ultimately heartbreaking. One in eight couples will struggle to conceive or sustain a pregnancy, with the cause being attributed to the female one-third of the time, the male another third, and a combination of problems from both being the final third. With around 6.7 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 suffering from impaired fecundity (the ability to achieve and complete a successful pregnancy), the stigma surrounding infertility is shocking.
But there is hope! Fertility centers around the country are making waves in infertility treatment. Approximately 44% of infertile women sought medical intervention from fertility clinics or reproductive centers, and saw a staggering 65% success rate (carried baby to term and gave birth).
Treatment options vary on a case by case basis, but a general summary is as follows:
- IVF or In Vitro Fertilization in which the sperm and egg are combined outside of the body to guarantee the formation of an embryo.
- Fertility drugs, such as clomiphene and gonadotropins, increase the amount of eggs the female body produces, thereby increasing the chance of fertilization.
- Artifical insemination, in which a doctor deposits sperm directly into the woman’s cervix or uterus.
Fertility centers offer a new and remarkably improved chance at conception and parenthood. With IVF being the most widely known procedure, most people also understand that there is a heavy monetary cost involved as well. Fortunately, the U.S. has already seen 15 states pass laws that force insurance companies to cover some of the cost of treatment. In terms of access, fertility clinics blanket this country: six states have more than 50 clinics, 16 states have at least 20, and California has a whopping 162 fertility centers.
Infertility isn’t something you need to be ashamed of and it certainly isn’t something you need to just accept. With technology advancing at a rapid rate and fertility centers popping up left and right, there has never been more hope.