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What is infertility?
Infertility is the inability to conceive after one year of well-timed intercourse or the inability to carry pregnancies to term delivery.

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If I have had repeated miscarriages am I considered infertile?
Yes. It is recommended that a couple with three or more pregnancy losses has an infertility work up. There are treatments for this problem.

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Does age affect fertility?
Yes, especially in woman. Studies show that a woman’s fertility starts to decline at age 35 and declines rapidly in her late 30s and early 40s. This is due to the effect of aging on the ovary. A woman with regular menstrual periods may, due to her age, have "poor ovarian reserve" meaning that the ovary may not respond normally to ovulatory hormones and/or that the eggs may be genetically defective.

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Does stress cause infertility?
No, not usually. However infertility is stressful and studies have shown that getting professional or peer-led support, through a RESOLVE support group or a mind-body group, can increase pregnancy rates in patients undergoing treatment.

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Is infertility treatment successful?
Eighty percent of couples who seek care from a qualified specialist will carry a pregnancy to term (Human Reproduction Updates, vol. 6, 2000.)

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Is it true that if I adopt I will get pregnant?
No. Approximately 5% of women get pregnant after adopting; this is the same rate as those who spontaneously get pregnant after stopping infertility treatment.

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What is an "infertility specialist”?
The doctor most qualified to treat infertility is a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist. A reproductive endocrinologist is a certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist who has completed a two-year fellowship and passed an oral and written exam in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. RESOLVE has a free physician referral service at 888-623-0744.

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When should I see an infertility specialist?
It is recommended that a woman see a specialist if she is over the age of 35 and/or: has a history of irregular menstrual cycles; has had abdominal or pelvic surgery; - had pelvic inflammatory disease (PID); experienced three or more pregnancy losses; has heavy, painful periods; her mother took DES when pregnant with her.

A man should have a semen analysis if his mother took DES; he had an undescended testicle at birth, had a testicular injury, has a varicose vein in the scrotal area or has been exposed to environmental toxins.

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What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
In vitro fertilization is a procedure in which mature eggs retrieved from a woman’s ovaries are fertilized with sperm in a Petri dish. After at least three days the resulting embryo(s are transferred into the woman’s body. One cycle of IVF, including the medications to stimulate the growth of eggs in the ovaries, can cost over $12,000 per attempt or cycle.

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Do all couples who do IVF get pregnant?
No the Centers for Disease Control reported a 29% live birth rate per embryo transfer in their latest report published in December, 2003.

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Diane Clapp BSN, RN
Medical Information Director
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association

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