The recent revelation by Khloe Kardashian (reality television personality, radio host, entrepreneur, model), regarding her fertility woes, brought an all too realistic problem to the attention of mainstream media. By revealing that she and her husband Lamar were themselves having problems conceiving a child, Khloe enlightened many to the staggering statistic of women in peak childbearing years who are experiencing fertility issues.
For many young women, the dream of career, marriage and family may not go as planned. The first two may prove easy to accomplish, but the latter may not be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth, infertility affects about 7.3 million people in the U.S. This represents 12% of women of childbearing age, or 1 in 8 couples. A common myth about infertility is that it is a woman’s problem. Infertility, however, affects men and women equally. Approximately one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one-third is attributed to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners, or, is unexplained, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
Infertility can be caused by a myriad of reasons, but it by no means speaks to the fact that something is wrong with either partner. Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body’s ability to perform the basic function of reproduction. The best way to treat this disease is like with any other, by seeing your physician and discussing your options. Most infertility cases, 85-90%, are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures. Fewer than 3% need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization – IVF).
From reality TV to real world, the struggles with infertility are a common problem… but with very real solutions and positive results for many.
Timothy Hickman, M.D. Medical Director – Houston IVF