Last week Donor Nexus, HRC Fertility, and the rest of our community celebrated National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), a movement that began in 1989. Why is this movement important and what is its significance? The goal of NIAW is to raise knowledge about the disease of infertility and help people become aware of their reproductive health. The National Infertility Association has worked together with many members in order to:
- Ensure that people who struggle with infertility know the guidelines in order to see a specialist regarding their infertility
- Help the public understand that infertility is a disease that needs notice and should not be ignored
- Educate state legislators in understanding the impact that people face when struggling with infertility
Who is affected by infertility? Anyone can be affected by infertility. Currently there are 6.7 million women in the U.S who are affected by the disease, which is about 11% of the women in our population. Infertility not only affects women but men as well and each is affected equally. Factors contributing to infertility:
- Irregular and abnormal ovulation accounts for 25% of all female infertility issues.
- About 85%-95% of infertility cases are treated with conventional medical treatment, such as with medication or surgery.
- 12% of all infertility has to do with a women’s weight, weighing either too much or too little.
- Men and women who smoke have decreased fertility
In the U. S. infertility has been on the rise, but an important factor to the rise are women becoming pregnant at a later age. Becoming pregnant in your 30’s seems like a wonderful idea, since most women establish their careers and relationships during this time, and that’s great news! However, the bad news is the ability to get pregnant can be more difficult and risks are more prevalent. Risks of getting pregnant at a later age:
- Having a baby with Down syndrome
- More screenings, DNA blood testing, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling
- Ectopic pregnancy
- C- Section
Infertility awareness will educate women so that they are more prepared if ever faced with infertility issues. The lack of knowledge and understanding can place great distress on women who were unaware of factors that could have caused their infertility, perhaps if they were more aware they would have taken specific measures at an earlier time to help with the disease.
Donor Nexus is an avid support of NIAW and encourage all of our patients and prospective parents to visit their website (http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/home-page.html
) to learn more.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2016). Quick facts about infertility
. Retrieved from https://www.asrm.org/detail.aspx?id=2322
Resolve. (2016). Improving the lives of men and women dealing with infertility
. Retrieved from http://www.resolve.org