Most couples with infertility problems are treated with medicine or surgery on reproductive organs. But for a small percentage of people, the quest for parenthood leads to more extreme measures.
Couples who have tried for at least a year to get pregnant without results are encouraged to seek medical attention. If over the age of 35, they should see a doctor after six months of trying.
Approximately ten percent of infertile couples pursue adoption or in vitro fertilization in order to become parents.
Chris and Brittney Sweeney began trying for a family as soon as they married. It wasn't long before they realized having a child would be more difficult than they thought.
The Sweeney's thought in-vitro was a pretty big gamble. In 2000, the average live delivery rate for IVF was nearly thirty percent. In vitro fertilization was first introduced in 1978 in England with the birth of the world's first test tube baby, Louise Brown. Since then, more than 20,000 babies have been born world wide.
But IVF accounts for less than five percent of all infertility treatment in the U.S. eggs are surgically removed from the ovary and mixed with sperm outside the body in a Petri dish. Fertilized eggs are then placed in the woman's uterus, thus bypassing the fallopian tubes. The average cost is $12,400.
For the Sweeneys and many couples like them, that cost is just too high. Adoption was the next logical choice. And just four months after making their decision, Landon was their son.
There are one and a half million adopted children in the u.s. types include domestic public, domestic private and international. The costs can range from zero up to $25,000.
The Sweeneys adopted Landon from Korea and are currently fostering children as well. They say they aren't yet finished expanding their family.
Fourteen states have laws that require insurance companies to cover at least part of the cost for infertility treatment. Kentucky is not one of those states.
For more resources on the topic of infertility, you can contact the National Women's Health Information Center at 1-800-994-9662 or the following organizations: