Advances, awareness lower U.S. infertility rate

Fifteen percent of American couples face infertility struggles, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The journey for both men and women can be isolating.

The CDC recently released a study showing the infertility rate in the United States is on the decline. Dr. Alan Copperman of Mount Sinai Hospital credits the drop to awareness and advancements in medicine. He says the shame-and-blame game is a thing of the past, and couples are more aware of their options at a younger age.

Some of the most commonly practiced infertility treatments include medications as well as assisted reproductive technology such as IVF and sperm injection. More advanced IVF treatments include screening chromosomes from embryos looking for genetic diseases. Dr. Copperman believes that approach has helped patients achieve a higher rate of success because genetic testing of embryos decreases and almost eliminates the majority of miscarriages that are caused by abnormal embryos.

Freezing a woman's eggs is another advancement, which gives a woman the option to revisit the idea of getting pregnant when she is ready.

Nearly 12 percent of all women receive some form of infertility treatment in their lifetime. Dr. Copperman hopes that CDC statistic continues to decline to give parents-to-be more hope that they, too, can achieve one of life's best gifts: parenthood.