National Infertility Awareness Week



April 24th through April 30th is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). NIAW was founded by RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, in 1989. NIAW was created with the mission to change the conversation around infertility. Educating the public about reproductive health is essential to ending the stigma. There are many stigmas and barriers preventing people from building families. Here are the facts about infertility. Take time to educate yourself and others about infertility, to prevent the spreading of misinformation. Misinformation is incredibly harmful as it influences lawmakers and companies to enforce policies that create barriers for people struggling with infertility.


Facts About Infertility According to RESOLVE

 
  • ICMART defines infertility as, characterized by the failure to establish a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse or due to an impairment of a person’s capacity to reproduce either as an individual or with his/her partner.

  • 1 in 8 couples (or 12% of married women) have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. (2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, CDC)

  • 7.4 million women, or 11.9% of women, have ever received any infertility services in their lifetime. (2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, CDC)

  • 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. (American Society For Reproductive Medicine)

  • 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 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). (American Society for Reproductive Medicine)


Risk Factors for Women

 

The following can affect a woman's ability to ovulate, conceive, or carry a pregnancy to term:

  • Excessive, or very low, body fat can affect

  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hyper or hypothyroidism, lupus, arthritis, hypertension, or asthma

  • Multiple miscarriages

  • Smoking cigarettes

  • Alcohol use

  • Hormonal imbalance

  • Age: Fertility declines with age

  • Being underweight

  • Being overweight

  • Emotional factors, such as depression and stress


Risk Factors for Men

 
  • Mumps after puberty

  • Hernia repair

  • Undescended testicles

  • History of prostatitis

  • Environmental factors, such as exposure to toxic substances or hazards or cigarette or marijuana smoke

  • Being underweight

  • Being overweight

  • Emotional factors, such as depression and stress


Please take control of your fertility by educating yourself and seeing a doctor. Whether you are trying to conceive now or looking to in the future, you can see a doctor anytime. Knowing the potential risk factors in your life, early on, could increase your chances of having a successful and healthy pregnancy.


References

1. ASRM. “April 24 - 30 Is National Infertility Awareness Week!” Reproductive Facts, ASRM, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 22 Apr. 2022, https://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications/news-and-research/announcements/april-24---30-is-national-infertility-awareness-week/.

2. “Infertility Facts, Diagnosis, and Risk Factors.” RESOLVE, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, 16 Feb. 2022, https://resolve.org/learn/infertility-101/facts-diagnosis-and-risk-factors/.

3. “National Infertility Awareness Week: RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.” RESOLVE, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, 16 Feb. 2022, https://resolve.org/events/national-infertility-awareness-week/.

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