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Diagnosing an Infertility Problem: Is IVF for You?

Part of the IVF & Beyond For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you’ve been trying for a baby for a year or more without luck, it’s time to tackle the problem and find out what you can do about it. Here are some facts about infertility and IVF to get you started:

  • You’re not alone: About 15 per cent of couples — nearly one in six — have difficulties conceiving. Over time, some of these couples will conceive spontaneously after trying for a long time, some will have a baby after undergoing infertility treatment or by adopting, and some will remain childless.

  • What’s the problem: Your doctor will order tests and investigations of you and your partner to pinpoint why you can’t conceive, because knowing the cause of infertility guides your treatment.

  • Causes of infertility: About one-third of infertility cases in couples are due to a male fertility problem, another third are due to a female fertility problem, and the final third are either due to both male and female fertility problems or of an unknown cause.

  • Why us: It’s normal to feel shocked, angry and sad when you discover that you’re infertile.

  • Low-tech options: Depending on the cause of your infertility, your doctor may suggest you try a low-tech fertility treatment alternative. If this treatment doesn’t work, your next option is usually IVF.

  • Time for IVF: For certain causes of infertility, IVF is the only way to help you have a family. If that’s the case for you, read up as much as you can about treatment, because being well-prepared is the best way to handle the highs and lows that inevitably accompany treatment.

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