Monday, June 23, 2014
National Infertility Awareness Week celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary!
By: The ART Fertility Program of Alabama
The National Infertility Association founded a movement 25 years ago, called RESOLVE, in hopes of creating a wider awareness of infertility and making sure those with infertility are able to get the information and/or treatment that they need.
But what does the organization hope to gain by increasing awareness? According to RESOLVE, they have three missions:
1. Ensure that people trying to conceive know the guidelines for seeing a specialist when they are trying to conceive.
The truth is that most couples don’t know when it’s time to see a specialist. In the past, it was traditional that after 12 months of a couple regularly having sexual intercourse with no protection from a condom or birth control without getting pregnant established infertility.
However, for couples under the age of 35 with no prior pregnancy should see a specialist after 5-6 months. For couples who have a prior pregnancy, that drops to 3-4 months.
Based on this information, the notion to wait one full year before seeking fertility services may markedly delay and impair success. Additionally, ovarian age is a fundamental factor in evaluating fertility treatment strategies and determining prognosis. So, infertile couples where the female partner is greater than age 35 should seek help even sooner.
2. Enhance public understanding that infertility is a disease that needs and deserves attention.
There’s no doubt that the public has little understanding that infertility is a disease that affects one in eight couples. In fact, there’s very little understanding of infertility in general. Many still believe that it’s something only women struggle with when in fact it affects both men and women equally. Age is also not the only factor that impacts fertility, as many think, and these are just a couple of the all too common misconceptions that people have.
With millions of Americans struggling with infertility, it’s time for the public to have an understanding of this disease and the emotional and physical tolls that it can take.
3. Educate legislators about the disease of infertility and how it impacts people in their state.
Advocates of RESOLVE have been urging for health care coverage for infertility, medical research, adoption benefits and access to all family building options for those with infertility. In fact, RESOLVE is a major supporter of the Family Act of 2013. This bill would create a tax credit for the out-of-pocket expenses associated with IVF and fertility preservation. If passed, the bill would greatly help thousands of people. People who weren’t able to seek help due to lack of insurance coverage would be able to gain access to the medical treatment they need.
Thanks to RESOLVE, National Infertility Awareness Week became a federally recognized health observance. We encourage you to visit RESOLVE’s website http://www.resolve.org/get-involved/ for more ways to get involved and show your support.
The ART Fertility Program of Alabama is located in Birmingham, Alabama with additional locations in Huntsville, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. The program is led by Dr. Kathryn Honea, Dr. Virginia Houserman, Dr. Cecil Long and Dr. Chris Allemand who are Board Certified specialists in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. All are skilled in comprehensive infertility care and offer a complete range of infertility services.