August 2013

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live in good health Fast Facts on Infertility Couples struggling to get pregnant should know they're not alone. Infertility—defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sex—is "a common problem," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of 2010: About 6 percent of married women aged 15-44 in the U.S. had fertility problems. About 11 percent of women aged 15-44 years have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, regardless of marital status. Losing, then finding, hope on the course to parenthood By Marni McEntee When Anne and Matt Jacobs met, they knew certain things. They knew they'd get married, and in 2005 they did—eight months after falling in love while working part-time at Menard's. They knew they would go to college and get good jobs. Anne is now a court reporter, and Matt's a computer network specialist for the state. He also serves in the Army National Guard. They knew the next step was buying a house, and now they have a lovely home in Madison. And they knew they would start a family. But what they didn't know was that starting a family was going to be so hard. "We started trying to get pregnant—it 12 BRAVA Magazine August 2013 seems so long ago—at the end of 2009," says Anne, now 36. "We just decided we were going to have fun with it and see what happened." So they had fun trying to make a baby for about a year, with no luck. "We weren't super concerned," she said. 'We just thought: 'OK, it's taking awhile.'" But after more time passed, Anne's gynecologist started her on drugs to boost ovulation. Another year slipped by. In the meantime, the couple's friends were having babies left and right. Some were even planning a second child. "Seeing them go through that cycle and we were still trying for our first—that was frustrating," says Matt, now 33. But infertility is not just a woman's problem. More than a third of fertility problems can be attributed to men, and 15 percent are from unknown causes. With newer fertility treatments, known as assisted reproductive technology (ART), women now have a greater chance than ever to conceive. ART includes treatments in which both egg and sperm are handled outside the body. In general, that means surgically removing eggs from a woman's ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman's body. The main type of ART is in-vitro fertilization. In 2011, the ART success rates were: • 40 percent in women under age 35 • 32 percent in women aged 35-37 • 22 percent in women aged 38-40 • 12 percent in women aged 41-42 • 5 percent in women aged 43-44 • 1 percent in women aged 44 or older Source: CDC Photo by Bobbi Petersen Waiting for Baby

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