The Road To Pregnancy

Is It Time To Ask for Directions?

Getting pregnant and having a baby -- seems like the "thing to do" these days. In addition, advancing reproductive technology is constantly in the news. Depending on what you read or who you ask, there are many potential reasons for what seems to be a growing number of folks who have trouble conceiving "the old-fashioned way."

Like most people, the term "infertility" may be a word that you've never pondered the meaning of before now. Thanks in part to the growing presence in the media of news about fertility and the lack thereof, many folks are becoming conscious of the possibility that infertility may indeed refer to them. It's a scary thought, so scary that lots of people never quite get around to thinking it.

If it helps to soften the edges, you might try thinking instead of "conception difficulties", "sub-fertility" or in some cases, "difficulty carrying to term". At any rate, "infertility" simply refers to the inability to conceive or impregnate, and possibly to the inability to successfully maintain a pregnancy after conception. Infertility is not, in and of itself, a disease; rather it is a condition often caused by disease, although not necessarily.

While we all think we know the basics, once you've had trouble conceiving or carrying you find that there is much more to getting and staying pregnant than most of us were ever taught. The plain truth is this -- the path to biological parenthood is more difficult for some than for others, but there's no reason to travel the road alone and unguided.

At what point does a person become concerned with his/her inability to conceive or maintain a pregnancy? The general rule at present is this: if you've been unable to conceive after a year of intercourse, you should seek assistance. If you are approaching your mid-30s or beyond, you should instead wait only six months before asking for help. Additionally, if you've been able to conceive yet have experienced two or more miscarriages, seek assistance.

Assistance takes many forms; for a growing number of people, the Internet is becoming the favored choice for gathering information and finding support through this journey. If desired, online activities can be accomplished anonymously (particularly helpful for those who have not disclosed their situation to family and friends), and even the most updated, science-based information can be obtained with a mouse-click (which beats the heck out of accessing an offline medical library).

Your road to family may take a few more twists and turns than you ever imagined, but take heart: every day, there is more light shining at the end of that path.

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