Infertility – A Guide to Becoming a Parent: 8 Answers to Common Questions on Infertility & Becoming a Parent
Subtitle: A comprehensive guide for couples to discover reasons why they may be infertile, what do do about it, and answers to their common questions
Couples trying to start or expand their families often run into problems either with becoming pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.
This is exceptionally heart wrenching for the individuals involved, and the topic of infertility has typically been considered something to keep silent about.
That silence only serves to heighten a couple’s inner fears and emotions.
Most will attempt to keep trying, but one or both partners often eventually despair over ever having a child. Some will give up in frustration, other parents will endeavor to figure out their infertility issue, or eventually need to find a surrogate.
Advances in reproductive medicine and fertility treatments are helping many discouraged couples wanting a baby to have long lost hope again.
It can be difficult at times to see others enjoying their time with their kids.
People might mean well, but those intense questions and hints that maybe the couple should hurry up already and join the rest of the neighborhood parents at PTA meetings, after-school sports, and other activities can play a huge toll on the couples’ relationships with each other, family members and friends.
Thankfully, surgeons and IVF Doctors that specialize in infertility and treatment are beating back the devastating diagnosis of infertility every day.
There are new medicines, better preventative health measures and screenings able to reverse some of the causes of this disease that includes blocked fallopian tubes and/or ovarian disorders.
Men too have many more options in treating their infertility challenges, and more couples today are wanting to find a surrogate.
What Exactly is Infertility?
Infertility is considered a disease of the reproductive system and is best defined by the failure of a couple to achieve a clinical pregnancy even after regular engagement in unprotected sex for a period of at least 12 months or more.
This definition is paraphrased from an article on the WHO website.
WHO stands for World Health Organization, and they are considered among the top health organizations around the globe.
Many medical professionals look to this organization for answers.
Why is Infertility Considered a Disease?
The reason that this term is considered a disease is that it meets the criteria for disability.
When someone is infertile, there is an impairment of function which is the definition of a disability. In this case, functional impairment is related to the reproductive system.
In 1998, the US Supreme Court ruled that infertility is to be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA as it is commonly known.
There are special circumstances though that are attached to this legal designation.
One special circumstance regarding this ruling is that an individual or couple is not considered truly disabled if there exists a corrective measure that could be effective in resolving the matter.
This stipulation is similar to individuals with visual problems being unable to claim disability if corrective eyeglasses, contacts or other eye treatment can allow the party to see clearly enough to perform most life activities.
So, Are Infertile Couples Considered Disabled & Do They Have Rights to Fertility Treatments Covered by Insurance?
In general, the answer is no with regards to special medical treatment rights under health insurance plans.
The law requires that employers and insurance agencies provide the same treatments covered in the policy to be made available to those with disabilities.
This translates loosely to mean that someone unable to become pregnant is not guaranteed access or insurance coverage for certain medical procedures unless all non-disabled individuals have the same coverage opportunities.
To make it even more confusing, compliance of these law guidelines varies in nature from one area to another.
There are now 15 states that do have laws regarding fertility treatment insurance coverage requirements for employers to make available to their employees with some notable exceptions.
Additionally, other states have various laws for fertility treatment coverage if the insured person is eligible for such as fertility tests, fertility diagnostics, reproductive-related surgeries, gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and medications.
IVF, otherwise known as in-vitro fertilization, is not always included in these state’s mandated insurance coverage statutes.
Intended parents should discuss these financial matters with a fertility clinic that they trust and has a reputable reputation well known in the area. Many individuals and couples may decide to undergo in-vitro fertilization therapy to realize their goals of raising a family complete with kids.
Anyone looking for a surrogate agency in Sacramento, or surrogate agency in California will find our office easy to find and welcoming to all who enter the doors.
Whether you are the intended parent or a surrogate mother, the process of becoming a surrogate or the process of becoming a parent is detailed and comprehensive.
In California, a law has been on the books from 1989 regarding this topic.
Employers are required to provide insurance coverage for some fertility treatments if the company health insurance plan includes medical, surgical and hospital expenses.
Currently, California courts have ruled that IVF treatment can be excluded from the list, and many advocates for infertile couples are working to change this statute.
Still, more companies today are changing their insurance benefits packages to include more family-friendly covered items that sometimes includes fertility clinic services and IVF treatment. Enter fertility clinic into online search-bars for proof.
How Many Women in the United States Are Infertile?
In this country, researchers estimate that approximately 6.1 million American females of recommended childbearing age are infertile.
Of the above number, around 25% of these women are found to have more than one cause contributing to their diagnosis of infertility.
Is it Always the Woman’s Fault if a Couple Cannot Get Pregnant?
Unlike the misguided myths believed for centuries, it is not always the woman who is the cause of a couple being unable to conceive a child.
Men too can be diagnosed as infertile, and the incidence rates for infertile males are roughly the same amount as females. Of course, it is important to only include those of the recommended childbearing ages in these studies and statistics to maintain a level standard during research.
Doctors today have determined that males can be the cause of not getting their partner pregnant.
This can be due to some sort of male reproductive issue, low sperm count or a result of several diseases like mumps known to cause males to become infertile.
Quite a change from the days of old where important men like King Henry VIII could blame the woman for not having male heirs or any heirs at all!
Note that in many cases, both the male and the female contribute towards the issue of not becoming pregnant.
Isn’t This Number a Bit High?
To get a better understanding of the math, think of the 6.1 million as about 10% of the female or male population. There are some reasons that there seem to be so many couples in this country today unable to have children.
An important factor to remember is that more women today are waiting much longer to start trying to get pregnant.
This is related to better education and job/career opportunities for women today than in generations past.
Some of the factors that influence more couples to wait before starting families include:
- More educational & job/career opportunities for women as stated
- Men building their careers too before committing to parenthood
- More distance between family members – results in less support for child rearing
- Increased number of one or both parties required to travel more for jobs
- Societal changes in views regarding family development
- More concerns about overpopulation, violence & other social concerns
- Access to contraception, other birth control methods & abortion
- Changes in family dynamics & expectations
- Military duty or other long-term job commitments that take one or both parties far away for long time periods
- More emphasis on retaining youth & beauty for women
- Men not having to settle down right after high school
- Broad changes in religious beliefs on family/parental matters
- Unstable finances, environment or other resources
When couples delay in starting their families, the woman can creep closer to the cutoff for the ideal childbearing age limit recommendations (ideally before age 35!).
That in itself can impact a woman’s reproductive health that can contribute to the woman becoming infertile in some cases.
Some Common Reasons Couples Struggle with Conceiving a Child
#1 – Ovulation Disorder
For infertile women, the ovarian disorder tends to be one of the most frequent causes. This issue is directly related to common conditions women are often prone to experiences such as stress, fatigue, diet problems, too much exercise, and hormonal imbalances.
#2 – Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal imbalances in both the male and female are often the culprit in ovulation disorders in women and various sperm/ejaculation problems in men.
Many medical conditions can affect hormones that include thyroid disease, autoimmune problems, heart disease, diabetes and many more.
#3 – Age
Age is a huge factor in women not getting pregnant.
As a woman ages, her ovaries produce fewer eggs. As a woman approaches menopause, there are often fluctuations with a woman’s ovulation process that can skip a month here and there and also happen earlier than expected or later.
A woman over 35 years of age can suffer from pre-menopausal symptoms, fluctuating hormones, irregular menstrual cycles, and other symptoms.
Many fertility experts are finding that about 1/3 of married or heterosexual couples where the female is over 35 are often unable to become pregnant.
#4 – Blocked Fallopian Tubes
When a woman is trying unsuccessfully to become pregnant, the culprit is often blocked fallopian tubes.
This can happen to one or both of the small tubes that catch the woman’s egg released during ovulation each month and transports it into her uterus or womb.
One of the most common causes of one or both blocked fallopian tubes is a pelvic inflammatory disease. This is a condition where organs and tissues in the pelvic region become inflamed for an extended period of time.
This can be a result of unnoticed or untreated kidney or UTI infections.
The bacteria that cause these infections can back up into the pelvic/abdominal region causing greater inflammation and infection.
Untreated infections or a ruptured fallopian tube set up the environmental conditions in the body for disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and other dangerous microscopic cells.
Another very common cause of fallopian tube blockage is endometriosis. This is a common reproductive disease that some women are more susceptible to getting due to genetics and other factors.
Each month, the woman’s uterus prepares itself for implantation of the egg that will be released by the ovaries during the period of her cycle known as ovulation. If the egg is not released or the woman’s egg doesn’t get fertilized by a male’s sperm following sexual intercourse, the excess uterine tissue that builds up on the interior lining then gets sloughed out through the process of menstruation.
With endometriosis, that tissue gets pushed out into the pelvic and abdominal cavity.
It can attach to the outer layers of other nearby organs such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, outer uterus, intestines, and others.
Throughout each month, the woman’s hormone fluctuations, menstruation cycle and other events cause the abnormally attached pieces of uterine tissue to swell and become very painful.
Over time, dense fibrous adhesions form cause even more discomfort.
The woman’s ovaries and fallopian tubes can become attached to these adhesions as well. The result can be blockage of the tiny tubes causing the woman to be unable to become pregnant even when trying hard to.
#5 – Obesity
Simply being overweight can impact both partners in their ability to be fertile. Often, the excess weight is due to a variety of health conditions like hormone imbalances, diabetes, thyroid disease, circulation issues, and many, many others.
Lifestyle choices also impact a person’s overall weight and health.
If a couple is failing in their attempts to become pregnant, it is highly recommended that they make changes to live healthier lifestyles going forward.
#6 – Uterine Fibroids
Some women are prone to the development of uterine fibroids.
These can disrupt the uterus’s normal ability to shed its lining or prepare for egg implantation. Larger fibroids are often found, and these can be removed surgically.
These fibrous masses of tissue are often hereditary, and women who know of other women in their family with this issue should get tested to see if any are inside already while they are smaller and in an area easier to remove.
In extreme cases, a woman’s fibroids can become so prevalent and large that she might need a hysterectomy depending on the specifics of each unique case.
#7 – Alcohol & Drugs
The misuse of alcohol and drugs can be detrimental to both of the intended parents.
Even prescription medications should be closely monitored by a doctor to ensure that it is safe to use when attempting to become pregnant.
Commonly used over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements may also interfere with normal fertility.
Taking drugs or drinking alcohol while trying to conceive can be dangerous to the mother and any potential conceived baby. Always follow your doctor’s exact instructions regarding drug and alcohol use.
#8 – Low/Absent Sperm Count
Males often find out that they have a lower sperm count than what is considered average.
There are effective treatments that should be investigated. The causes for this can be hereditary, previous illness or trauma to the tests that result in serious complications.
Mumps is already known to cause fertility issues in men. This is especially true if the man contracts the disease when he is fully grown instead of a smaller child.
Intended parents should be exceptionally careful about being out in public places where crowds of people are common- it is known that where large groups of people are- illness is often swift to follow.
Some healthcare experts point out that many parents are not vaccinating their children because of concerns about side effects.
This can put the public at risk of contracting measles or other contagious diseases.
Health and exercise habits, hormone imbalances, use of certain medications, fatigue, and many health conditions can all play a part in this potential cause of males becoming unable to have kids.
#9 – Stress
Stress in either partner can contribute to the inability to conceive or carry a baby if successful.
It is crucial to try and lower sources of stress and frustration during this period that produces stress all on its own.
These are just a few of the many causes of fertility problems. Couples should be prepared to search out a fertility clinic for revolutionary treatment options.
Type the words “fertility clinic near me” into your preferred search engine for quick answers, or to find a trusted fertility clinic in Sacramento or a fertility clinic in Roseville, contact us at 916-226-4342 for a referral to one of our trusted partners.
Many ladies are surprised as they input a fertility clinic near me and our address and information pop up.
Along with being there every step with all of our important intended parents, we are also there for those who give the selfless gift of a child by becoming a surrogate mother.
Better Treatments for Infertility Giving Couples Hope in Their Future
There are many better treatments for infertility issues that are giving these suffering couples new hope in their potential future as loving and happy parents.
Common treatments include:
- IVF also called in-vitro fertilization
- Microscopic reproductive surgeries for ovarian disorders and blocked fallopian tubes
- A wide range of hormone therapies for men and women
- Proper diagnosis & treatment of underlying health conditions like diabetes, thyroid issues or testicular cancer
- Living healthier lifestyles
- Various medications
- Treating erectile dysfunction in men
- Retrograde ejaculation that medically retrieves sperm from a man’s bladder
- A huge variety of surgical choices
- Finding a wonderful Surrogate Mother who will have your child
Discover How to Find a Surrogate Legally and Safely
There are a healing and supportive full-service surrogacy agency right here in the Sacramento, CA area of Roseville.
The entire staff is ready to assist intended parents to find a caring and suitable surrogate mother, explain what fertility clinics offer and support each couple’s personalized medical decisions.
Start your journey towards parenthood by taking that first small step by calling us today, or filling out our form to become a parent.
Browse more of our informative blog postings and in-depth details regarding the best way to find a surrogate and newer information on infertility treatments offered by a premier fertility clinic near me in Sacramento, CA area.
Our team also takes pride in giving each surrogate mother who is helping our intended parents on this path the expert advice, support and resources to make this time one of the best seasons of their lives.