A Private Heartache: Facing Infertility
Remember that “birds and bees” talk when you were an adolescent? Invariably, it included a caution against unprotected sex – because “it only takes once” to conceive a baby. But for those couples experiencing infertility, conception is not that easy.
Infertility – or the inability to conceive after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse – affects more couples than you may think, said David Adamson, MD, founder and CEO of ARC fertility. “Over their lifetime, about one couple in six will have diffculty getting pregnant when they want to,” he explained.
According to Dr. Adamson, the underlying cause of infertility can be determined to be a problem with the female’s reproductive system in about 50 percent of cases, and with the male’s reproductive system in about 25 percent of cases. In some instances, the problem is a combination of both female and male issues, and in fewer situations, a cause of infertility can’t be found. “This is called ‘unexplained infertility,’” he said. “This condition is probably caused by as-yet-unknown egg, sperm, genetic, immunological, and other conditions.”