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Infertility Awareness Week
April 25, 2014

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox Most new parents will tell you, meeting their baby for the first time is nothing short of a miracle. But for some couples, the journey to parenthood is long and painful, and for others, it may never happen.

The National Infertility Association says one in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility.

"Infertility is a disease. I mean it does affect a lot of people," Melissa Lay, In-vitro Fertilization Lab Manager at Cabell Huntington Hospital, said.

Lay said about 30-40 percent of the population within reproductive age face infertility.

"It's not as easy for everyone to have that family and bring a baby into the world," she said.

Tubal Disease, endometreosis, and ovarian dysfunction can be female causes of infertility, but 40-50 percent of couples experience male-factor infertility.

Most experts recommend calling your doctor after a year of trying unsuccessfully for women younger than 35, and six months for women 35 and older.

"Sometimes it's just a matter of knowing your own body and your own cycle, and determining whether or not you really and truly are ovulating on a regular basis," Lay said.

Doctors can determine if a couple has fertility problems from a detailed medical history and a few tests.

"There are multiple options to treat infertility," Lay said.

That includes medicine, surgery, intra-uterine insemination, and assisted reproductive technology. Procedures like IVF are usually only performed if other methods fail.

As part of National Infertility Awareness Week, Lay and other experts not only encourage couples to seek help, but also for others to remember that pregnancy is a privilege not every couple is afforded.

"Everyone needs to be supportive of these families and these couples because they are going through a very difficult time," Lay said.

For more on local options available, check out:

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