7.3 Million US Men and Their Partners Face Fertility Issues
(Purchase, NY) As Father’s Day approaches many men are looking forward to gifts of hand-made cards, refrigerator art, and pencil holders made out of milk cartons and dried noodles reflecting the love of their children. And for those men who are trying to become dads, the day may come packed with many mixed emotions as they await and hope for those two magical words, “We’re pregnant!”
Dr. Lowell T. Ku, a reproductive endocrinologist at Attain Fertility Networks’ Dallas IVF practice, understands just how these men feel. He knows firsthand not because he treats so many couples every year, but because he and his wife, who is an OB/GYN, are one of those couples.
In fact, infertility affects about 7.3 million women and their partners in the U.S. – about 12% of the reproductive-age population (Source: National Survey of Family Growth, CDC 2002).
Dr. Ku tells that “when my wife and I started trying to conceive, we bought a beautiful little silver picture frame with a baby bear holding some balloons and the word ‘BABY’ on the bottom of the frame. We placed the frame on our mantle and we looked at it every evening with great anticipation that soon a sonogram photo of our first baby would fill the frame.”
When their efforts continued to produce only frustration Dr. Ku and his wife had every test possible only to be told that everything was “normal”. The Kus are like millions of other couples who cannot pinpoint their cause of infertility. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association reports that about 40% of all instances of infertility include both partners or are unknown. The remaining 60% are evenly divided between men and women.
Three years passed for the Kus and the picture frame remained empty. With mounting pressure from family and growing despair, they heard the proverbial ‘biological clock’ ticking with increased urgency.
“In my work life I see this every day. But suddenly my wife and I were faced with the same decision I see my patients having to make – whether to give up or try IVF. We chose IVF, knowing that it wouldn’t be an easy or short road,” Dr. Ku continues.
According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), it takes most women more than one round of IVF treatment to conceive. For the Ku’s it took several attempts and a course-of-treatment approach. After four rounds of IVF, they finally found themselves the happy parents of a healthy baby boy. Their picture frame is no longer empty. In it is a photo of their son.
“Through sharing my story about our struggle with fertility I hope that couples and all of the dads-to-be who are looking forward to one day celebrating Father’s Day will know that they are not alone,” says Dr. Ku. “My message is one of hope and perseverance.”
About Attain Fertility
AttainFertility.com, is a comprehensive, interactive website from IntegraMed that offers trusted fertility information from experts and includes content on everything from fertility issues and treatment options to cost and planning. The website also offers community support to help patients become parents.
About IntegraMed America, Inc.
IntegraMed America, Inc. manages highly specialized outpatient facilities in emerging, technology-based, niche medical markets and is the leading manager of fertility centers and vein clinics in the United States. IntegraMed supports its provider networks with clinical and business information systems, marketing and sales, facilities and operations management, finance and accounting, human resources, legal, risk management and quality assurance services. The Attain Fertility Network, and IntegraMed Specialty, is the nation's largest fertility network, comprised of 40 contracted centers with over 125 locations in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly one of every four IVF procedures in the U.S. is performed in an IntegraMed network fertility practice. Vein Clinics of America, an IntegraMed Specialty. is the leading provider of varicose vein care services in the US, currently operating 36 centers in 13 states, principally in the Midwest and Southeast.