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Infertility Tests Every Aspect of a Couple's Life

Infertility Tests for Every Aspect of a Couple's Life

WebMD Feature

Patti Gellman rode a physical and emotional roller coaster for two years trying to get pregnant for the first time. What she and her husband, Alex, thought would be a simple act of love to produce a child turned into a highly medicalized journey of poking, prodding, discomfort and -- perhaps the hardest part -- month after month of heartache when nothing seemed to work. Their turmoil finally paid off in 1993, however, when Gellman delivered healthy twin boys.

"I didn't think anyone would be able to talk me into going through that again, especially since I had two wonderful, healthy sons," says Gellman, who lives in Ambler, Pa. But she had a change of heart last winter and, after going through another couple of rounds of in vitro fertilization, delivered another baby boy five months ago.

As Gellman can attest, the desire to have children can be so strong that infertile couples often will go to great physical, emotional and financial lengths to get pregnant. The good news is that about 80% of these couples will eventually succeed, typically with the help of a reproductive endocrinologist, and the vast majority won't need to undergo the more advanced and costly technologies, like in vitro fertilization. In addition, improvements in lab practices have increased the odds that these more sophisticated methods will work, while at the same time reducing the risk of multiple births.