Vivere-Dallas Surgery Center and Fertility Laboratory are recognizing National Infertility Awareness Week by promoting awareness of infertility, therapies available to address it, and the options available to those wishing to become parents.
Infertility is a disease affecting almost 7 million women across the U.S., according to the National Survey of Family Growth. That number represents 11 percent of women of childbearing age or one in eight couples, the center says.
According to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, many infertility risk factors are the same for women and men. They include:
- Age. A woman's age can affect her fertility. By age 40, a woman's chance of pregnancy has decreased from 90 percent to 67 percent.
- Emotional factors. Depression and stress may have a direct effect on the hormones that regulate reproduction and affect sperm production or ovulation.
- Occupational and environmental risks. Studies suggest that prolonged exposure to high mental stress, high temperatures, chemicals, radiation, or heavy electromagnetic or microwave emissions may reduce fertility in both men and women.
- Unprotected sex. Having multiple sex partners and not using condoms may increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can cause infertility in both men and women.
- Smoking. Smoking may increase the risk of infertility in women and may reduce sperm production in men.
- Alcohol use. Even moderate alcohol intake - as few as five drinks a week - can impair conception.
- Being overweight. Body fat levels that are 10 percent to 15 percent above normal can overload the body with estrogen, throwing off the reproductive cycle.
- Being underweight. Body fat levels 10 percent to 15 percent below normal can completely shut down the reproductive process.
NIAW is a movement to raise awareness about the disease of infertility and encourage the public to take charge of their reproductive health. Each year the infertility community comes together for one week to focus on ensuring that people trying to conceive know the guidelines for seeing a specialist, enhancing public understanding of the disease and education legislators about how the disease impacts people in their states.
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For more information on infertility and Vivere-Dallas, visit the website.