If you’ve been trying to get pregnant but can’t, you might start to think you’re the only one feeling the infertility struggle. It may seem like everyone is posting about their new little (sometimes surprise of a) bun in the oven all over social media, but according to the CDC you’re actually not alone. It turns out that, “12% of women in the US ages 15-44 experience the difficulty of getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term”—you just wouldn’t know since this 12% most likely isn’t posting about the infertility struggle for the world to see.
In addition to this population of women struggling with infertility, there’s an underrepresented population of men who also struggle with it. The CDC also reported that, “7.5% of all sexually experienced men younger than age 45 reported seeing a fertility doctor during their lifetime,” of that 7.5%, “18% were diagnosed with a male-related infertility problem.” This might be news to you (as most people don’t originally think so), but infertility isn’t just a woman’s health issue.
Since conception is a process composed of multiple steps, infertility can be caused from any incompletion or incorrect execution of any one step. Here’s a quick crash course on reproduction: The first step is the release of an egg from a woman’s ovaries. Then after a trial of baby making, the man’s sperm joins with the released egg to become fertilized. The fertilized egg then continues down the woman’s fallopian tube to her uterus where it becomes attached/implanted to her uterine wall that would be the baby’s home for about nine months. Although a majority of these steps has to do with proper functioning of a woman’s organs, the man’s sperm also plays a huge role and could contribute to overall infertility too.
Most experts recommend trying to conceive for a year before reaching out to a doctor, but feel free to check out more about infertility solutions and treatments to get your infertility questions answered by visiting our Infertility Resources for Patients.
Written by: Jordan Rawlinson