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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Miscarriage and Infertility

I recently realized with horror, that after almost 2 years of writing this blog - documenting my career change from health researcher to miscarriage/infertility counsellor - and sharing health and fitness information, that I have yet to do a post devoted to miscarriage and infertility! So here it is.

Some facts:

*Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of regular, unprotected sex.

*1-in-6 couples face infertility issues.

*Even young, completely fertile couples only have a 25% chance of conceiving on any one given cycle.

*After the age of 35, the chance of miscarriage and infertility starts to increase rapidly.

*About 30% of infertility is due to female factors, 30% is due to male factors, and the rest is unexplained.

*Stress does not cause infertility, but infertility DOES cause stress.

*It is estimated that 20-30% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.

*More miscarriages are being detected now because early pregnancy tests are able to detect pregnancy so soon after conception that miscarriages occurring early on that would have been assumed as a heavy period are now recognized as a pregnancy loss.

*A woman generally has to have 3 consecutive miscarriages before doctors consider it to be "medically significant" (i.e. due to a medical problem rather than just chance).

*Because miscarriages are such common events, the medical community has been slow to recognize the emotional repercussions they can have.

*Studies have shown that women find having a miscarriage to be one of the most difficult experiences they have ever faced (even more so than divorce, job loss, etc.).

*IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies cannot guarantee that a couple can have a baby. Past a certain age, there is a very low chance of success. Women in their 40s and older often have to use donated eggs because their own eggs are too poor in quality.

There you have some of the basics! Feel free to ask me any questions you may have.