Attention to Infertility

Infertility Awareness Week from April 21 to 27

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Only a small window of opportunity exists each month for families trying to have a baby. Infertility troubles can make it even more difficult to conceive while adding additional stress emotionally and physically.

For the 12 percent of Americans with infertility, attention is being drawn to the condition with National Infertility Awareness Week, which falls on April 21-27.

The National Infertility Association will move to educate the public about and draw attention to the condition this week across the country. The association also aims to increase understanding of the guidelines for seeing a specialist when trying to conceive.

"Infertility issues? Call a specialist."

National Infertility Awareness Week began in 1989 to raise awareness about infertility and encourage better understanding of reproductive health.

Infertility affects 7.3 million individuals across the US, or 1 in eight American couples. About a third of those infertility cases are female with about 44 percent of them seeking medical assistance.

Another third of infertility cases is attributed to the male partner. The remaining infertility cases are caused by some combination of infertility in both partners.

In comparison, a couple between 29 and 35 years of age with a normal-functioning reproductive system has a 20 to 25 percent chance of conceiving during any given month.

Infertility risk factors are the same for both men and women. They include age, smoking, alcohol use, unprotected sex, occupational and environmental risks, emotional factors and being over- or underweight.

Between 85 and 90 percent of infertility cases are treated with medicines or surgical procedures. Less than 3 percent need in vitro fertilization, which involves inserting a fertilized egg into a woman's uterus, and other advanced surgeries.

Among the women who seek medical intervention, almost two-thirds give birth. Women under the age of 35 have a 41 percent chance of having a live birth after receiving an embryo transfer, or fertilized egg, from a non-donor.

For women between 35 and 37 years of age, the chance of having a live birth decreases to about 32 percent.

RESOLVE, a project by the National Infertility Association, provides information on all aspects of infertility, including medical treatment, adoption, third-party reproduction, and advocating for insurance coverage for infertility treatment and adoption legislation. They also help with coping and child-free living.

The organization's aim is to bring infertility support groups to every community and increase and protect access to all family building options.

According to the organization, insurance policies that offer a comprehensive infertility treatment benefit could reduce costs, improve outcomes, and allow specialists to choose the right treatment for each potential parent based on the type of infertility.

Currently, 15 states have laws requiring that insurance policies cover some level of infertility treatment.

RESOLVE has several tips to optimize fertility:

  • eating the right foods
  • physical activity in moderation to reduce stress
  • engaging in stress management and relaxation techniques

Numerous events are being held across the country all month long through the end of May to raise infertility awareness. For more information, visit http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/educational-events.html.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 24, 2013
Last Updated:
November 11, 2013