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Womb woes: Clinics and doctors tackle infertility issues in a variety of ways

Depending on your age, infertility may or may not be a regular discussion topic, but for about one in every eight couples, it is a major source of discussion and concern. Resolve: The National Infertility Association" says that number equates to about 7.3 million people in the United States who are suffering from this disease.

"It's really 40-40," said Gina Cella of Cella Communications, representing Resolve. She said infertility is 40 percent women's issues, 40 percent men's issues, 10 percent a combined factor, and the remaining 10 percent are simply unexplained factors.

"Most couples look at this as the couple's burden," said Dr. Michael Grossman of CNY Fertility Center in Latham. "They don't look at it to assign blame. It is their shared struggle."

Grossman said that anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent of couples will have infertility difficulties.

While the medical definition of infertility is the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sex, it isn't necessarily the definition doctors always use, and couples shouldn't adhere to it as the golden rule either.

"The right time to start investigating is when the couple is concerned," said Grossman. "For some couples, it's six to eight years, and for other couples, it is two months."

Both Grossman and Cella suggest that if the couple has not been successful in six months of trying to conceive naturally, there may be a cause for concern.

"A lot of people wait too long," said Cella. "Age is a big factor in infertility."

As women age, their ovaries age, making it more difficult to get pregnant, said Grossman. In addition to age, there are several other reasons why women " and men " might seek out a specialist earlier rather than later.

Grossman said women with irregular menstrual periods and those who are likely to suffer from scar tissue as a result of abdominal operations or infections would be wise to seek out an expert opinion early in the process. Additionally, men who have been recent users of anabolic steroids should seek out medical advice.

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