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Olathe doctor wants to educate people on growing fertility options

Posted at 7:44 AM, Apr 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-24 10:05:33-04

OLATHE, Kan. — Infertility is a disease that affects 17% of young couples in the U.S.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, which is all about educating the public about reproductive health and issues that make building a family so difficult for so many.

The Midwest Reproductive Center said causes for infertility are evenly found in men and women — they're just more commonly talked about when found in women.

Infertility can be caused by several factors — from the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes for women, and low sperm levels, movement and shape in males.

However, Dr. Dan Gehlbach, of the Midwest Reproductive Center, said the most common cause for infertility now is age.

“Age has become a much bigger factor now and one that we’re trying to educate the public on,” Gehlbach said. “Everything that we do, age affects the outcome, and so that has become one of the biggest problems with infertility."

He hopes this week helps destigmatize infertility and helps couples consider their reproductive options.

Gehlbach also said egg banking is an option for anyone who may wait to have kids. Many insurance companies are starting to cover egg banking, making it a more accessible option.

“Many insurances are now starting to offer egg banking, and we heartily support that,” Gehlbach said. “If they’re not going to have their family until later in life, if they’re able to freeze their eggs at a young age, then that’s insurance to allow them to have a successful pregnancy even if they wait quite a while before trying to get pregnant."

Celebrities and people in the public eye talking about their fertility journeys have helped empower those impacted by infertility to use their voices to raise awareness, according to Gehlbach.