Previously Diagnosed Infertile Women Might Not Be Infertile After All

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by Cassandra R. Wlias

In The News: New Study Finds Previously Infertile Women Need More Time to Conceive

Previously Diagnosed Infertile Women Might Not Be After AllConventional wisdom says that, if a couple isn't able to get pregnant within twelve months of trying to conceive, they might need professional fertility help. Absent other risk factors such as a history of pelvic infections of abdominal surgeries, it's at the one year mark where women tend to be clinically diagnosed as "infertile."

A new study from the University of Queensland suggests that up to 25 percent of couples may simply need more time to conceive before seeking medical intervention.

The study found that approximately one in four women betwen the ages of 28 and 36 who reported a history of infertility were actually able to conceive without any fertility treatment. Another 25 percent were able to conceive with fertility treatments ranging from simple medications like Clomid from more advanced treatments like IVF.

Half of those women who had not used treatment had already had a baby prior to reporting infertility.

Dr. Herbert said the national study, which appears in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, offers a more comprehensive picture of infertility in Australia compared to previous clinic-based studies. "The strength of this study is the inclusion of all women with a self-reported history of infertility. That means that women who have experienced difficulty falling pregnant but not sought treatment are included, as well as women who do seek treatment but do not become pregnant."

The data from the study came from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health which has been following over 8,000 women for the past 26 years as they gathered information from survey results taken most recently in 2006 and again in 2009.

In what is sure to be seen as good news overall for women struggling with fertility, there appeared to be no difference in pregnancy complications for women who did have fertility treatments versus those who did not.

The study cautioned that age is still an important factor and those over 36 may still wish to consdier testing to identify and address potential age-related fertility problems.

What do you think? Would you be willing to wait longer before seeking fertility help?

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