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Infertility affects about every ten couples in the U.S.  Recent medical advances make it possible for most couples willing to undergo a variety of treatments to have a baby.

Getting pregnant can be a challenge for many couples.  If a couple has not been able to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex, they should seek help, says Dr. Ricardo Loret de Mola, associate professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.   He explains infertility problems.

SOUND BITE:    “Infertility is actually more common than people think.  It is estimated that 10 percent of the world wide population is at some point in time, experience troubles in conceiving a child.  Now this number really varies depending upon the age  that the patient and the partner belong to because these incidences are general, but once they are over 35 that could be as high as 15 to 20 percent.”

Loret de Mola says problems with conceiving a child are equally associated with men and women.  He says there are many safe and effective therapies for overcoming fertility.  A full evaluation usually requires a few visits.  He explains some of the tests performed by fertility specialists.

SOUND BITE:    “With a typical couple, we would like to do a semen analysis to confirm the presence of sperm or if there is a problem. We would do a test to seek if the patient is ovulatory, which is basically a blood test or a urine test to check for ovulation.  We would do a Hysterosalpingogram to check to see if the uterus and fallopian tubes are normal.  And also a test to look for the quality of the eggs or what we call the ovarian reserve . . .”

Loret de Mola says any couple who is having difficulty conceiving should talk with their primary care physician who may refer them to an infertility specialist or a special clinic such as the SIU Fertility and IVF Center in Springfield.

This is Ruth Slottag at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.