National Infertility Awareness Week – Start Early, Ask Questions, Find Support
National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24-30
Dreaming of being a mom? What are you waiting for? Questions or concerns about your fertility? National Infertility Awareness Week is the perfect time to ask those questions and start finding answers.
In my profession as a board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist with the Fertility Center of Miami I speak to people who suffer from infertility every day. I encourage my patients to ask questions to help them understand and process their disease.
The theme for this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week is “start asking”. The idea is to encourage both patients and medical professionals to ask more questions and improve education regarding infertility.
So, what is infertility? Infertility is defined as an inability of a couple to conceive after 12 months of regular, unprotected intercourse under the age of 35 and after 6 months in women over the age of 35. Causes of infertility can be easily identifiable or extremely complex.
Who should perform the infertility evaluation? In many cases, Obstetrician-Gynecologists can initiate portions of the infertility evaluation. The timing of the initial evaluation largely depends on the age of the female partner, as well as the couple’s historical risk factors. Woman experience a decline in monthly pregnancy rates as the ovary ages.
Start Early. Ask Questions. Share. Support.
1. Start the evaluation process early.
Early involvement of a reproductive health professional is important to assist patients in determining the cause. Significantly delaying the evaluation and treatment of an infertile woman may diminish success rates once therapy is initiated. Respect your biological clock.
2. Ask questions.
About one-third of infertility cases can be attributed to female factors, and about one-third to factors that affect men. For the remaining one-third of infertile couples, infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both the male and female. Infertility is unexplained in about 20 percent of cases.
3. Share your experience with others for support and encouragement.
Finding a safe and supportive environment to ask questions can be very helpful. Remember there are many others out there going through their own infertility journey who can share knowledge or just lend emotional support. Ask your doctor about local support groups, trusted online blogs, and resources to get you started.
As a specialist in the field of infertility, my question for you during National Infertility Awareness Week is, “What are you waiting for?” Age matters!