CHARLOTTE, N.C. - When Bobby and Michele Hodges were first married, they wanted to start a family right away.
They spent the next four years trying unsuccessfully.
“Sometimes, people would say things like, 'It's just because we're stressing,'” Bobby Hodges said.
The Hodges are not alone. Infertility issues impact one in six couples.
Dr. Lauren Johnson, at Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte, treated the Hodges, but said many couples wait too long to seek medical help.
“It's a huge issue,” Johnson said. “It's much more common that couples have waited a really long time, two years, five years, 10 years.”
When to seek medical attention for infertility:
- 30 years old -- 1 year
- 35 years old -- 6 months
- 40 years old -- immediately
Johnson said women at 30 without any diagnosed issues should wait no longer than a year if they can't get pregnant. She said it's crucial to examine men, too.
“Men, we think, contribute 30-40 percent of the time to the infertility diagnosis,” Johnson said.
Michele Hodges said many people don't understand the emotional roller coaster struggling couples experience.
“It was very hard to be happy for other people, which is hard to say,” Michele Hodges said.
Johnson sees the difficult reality that not every couple's dream comes true.
“There are wonderful people out there who have big struggles with infertility and not everyone will get pregnant,” Johnson said.
Thankfully, this year the Hodges welcomed their daughter, Evi, to the world after their second round of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment.
Not all infertility treatment involves IVF; The types and the cost can vary drastically. Johnson said getting a diagnosis is key.
Anchor Allison Latos shared more in a Facebook Live about her personal struggle with infertility issues before she became pregnant.
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