This week marks the 25th anniversary of National Infertility Awareness Week, a time of year devoted to raising awareness about reproductive health and infertility. In general, infertility is the inability of a woman to conceive after at least a year of unprotected sex with her husband or live-in partner. This often “misunderstood condition” affects one in eight couples in the U.S. And with only 15 states having laws that require insurance coverage for fertility treatments, it’s imperative to help women and men understand what options are available to them.
According to a recent report by the National Center for Health Statistics, fewer women may be seeking the fertility services available to them. In a survey of 22,682 men and women, ages 15-44 (with a greater focus on individuals between ages 25 and 44), conducted from 2006 to 2010, 17 percent of women had ever used any infertility service, which the report says is a significant decrease from 20 percent in 1995.
“Infertility is very stressful,” says Brooke Rossi, MD, infertility specialist at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. “And it can cause people to be depressed and feel sad. It can cause stress in the relationship, and some of that can be alleviated if we take the first steps to come in, get evaluated, and start working towards an answer.”
Diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (a condition that can affect a woman's hormone levels, menstrual cycles, ovulation and pregnancy), patient Brianne Alaburda talks about her experience using Femara (letrozole), a more cost effective fertility drug. Brianne stresses how important it is for other couples experiencing the same challenges she and her husband faced, to be knowledgeable and proactive about treatment options and costs for infertility.
Sound bites from Brooke Rossi, MD, infertility specialist at UH Case Medical Center and patient Brianne Alaburda, related b-roll, and natural sound are available for download on University Hospitals Case Medical Center Newsroom at http://news.uhhospitals.org/.