ROANOKE, Va. – Infertility can impact anyone regardless of age, race or gender.
This week health officials are working to bring light to the issue during National Infertility Awareness Week.
Megan Spence and her husband always looked forward to having a family of their own, but she never thought she would spend five years trying to get pregnant.
“It makes me emotional…just thinking about it,” Expecting Mother Megan Spence said.
After several failed treatments, Megan decided it was time to seek help.
“We decided that IVF was the next step for us but having that support and knowing like other people have been going through the same thing makes, I mean, it made me not feel alone,” Spence said.
Now Megan and her husband are expecting a baby girl this fall, The road to get here wasn’t always easy, the couple has dealt with loss and struggles along the way. She hopes sharing her story will inspire others to talk more openly about infertility.
“To us, it was a life, so we did lose something and for other people to acknowledge it, it should not be a secret and with the whole infertility, people need to support women and couples going through that,” Spence said.
Dr. Adrienne Gentry is an infertility specialist at Carilion Clinic and says it’s more common than most people think.
“Approximately 15% of patients are actually one in eight couples experience infertility,” Carilion Clinic Fertility Specialist Dr. Adrienne Gentry said.
Gentry says there’s also a common misconception that it only impacts women.
“30% of the time it’s a female problem, 30% it is a male problem, and another 30% is kind of unexplained, and then the last 10% is a combined issue or something else going on,” Gentry said.
As Megan gets ready to welcome her baby girl into the world, she wants anyone who may face the same issues to know you can always fight to beat the odds.
“Don’t lose hope, I mean it’s very hard to keep that hope alive but knowing other people have been successful in it, it gave me hope and now we’re here,” Spence said.
For information on support groups in the Roanoke region, click here.