Sunday, April 1, 2012

National Infertility Awareness Week April 2012

Did you know that April 22 - April 28, 2012 is National Infertility Awareness Week?  Chances are you know a couple that has been effected by infertility.  Often times couples do not discuss their infertility related challenges with others.  For several years we struggled silently.  It wasn't till our adoption process began that we actually opened up to friends and family about what we had been through.  Why?  I am not entirely sure.  I guess in part because trying to conceive is typically a private matter, and because we weren't ready for all of our well meaning family and friends tips on baby making, and their self diagnosis of our infertility. 

The initial adjustment to making this a public matter was a tiny bit rocky, but I am since extremely happy we have the support of those around us who love us.  Not to mention, I don't have to make up lame excuses for why we aren't having another baby yet.  My creativity in that area was really running low.  I think the more people that spread the word, the more change we can hopefully create. 

Some facts on infertility from

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse (six months if the woman is over age 35) or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth.
  • Infertility affects 7.3 million people in the U.S. This figure represents 12% of women of childbearing age, or 1 in 8 couples. (2002 National Survey of Family Growth)
  • Approximately one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one-third attributed to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or, is unexplained.  (
  • A couple ages 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system has only a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month (National Women’s Health Resource Center). After six months of trying, 60% of couples will conceive without medical assistance. (Infertility As A Covered Benefit, William M. Mercer, 1997)
  • Approximately 44% of women with infertility have sought medical assistance. Of those who seek medical intervention, approximately 65% give birth. (Infertility As A Covered Benefit, William M. Mercer, 1997)
  • Approximately 85-90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures. Fewer than 3% need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF). (
  • The most recently available statistics indicate the live birth rate per fresh non-donor embryo transfer is 41.2% if the woman is under 35 years of age and 31.6% if the woman is age 35-37. (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, 2009)
  • Fifteen states have passed laws requiring that insurance policies cover some level of infertility treatment: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia. (For more on this visit the insurance coverage section of
I am in one of the states where infertility coverage is not mandatory, and even luckier to have insurance that covers NOTHING for infertility related treatments, even though I have a diagnosed medical condition that causes it.  I am hopeful that as awareness continues to rise, more insurance companies will start to cover treatment.

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