This is often not spoken about, but many couples have unforeseen obstacles when it comes to setting up a family. Former First Lady Michelle Obama opens up his own struggles to have children with former President Barack Obama.
In his new book, "Becoming" Obama says that 20 years ago he felt a spontaneous abortion, she felt "lost and alone". She has undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF) to enter her two daughters – Sasha and Malia.
Obama said she felt frustrated because people did not talk about spontaneous abortion or IVF use.
So, how often is this kind of travel for parents? We asked Dr. Christina Boots, Obstetric and Gynecology Assistant, Specializing in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Northwestern Feynberg Medical School.
Below is an edited Q & A with Boots.
Is infertility more frequent than we talk or know about it?
I think it is. It occurs at least 10 percent of the population. And I think most people do not talk about when they fight. Are they struggling, and it just takes them longer or it's done separately. Or they should look for fertility treatment. A recent study has shown that 30 percent of people either know that someone survived fertility treatments or survived. So I think that this happens more often than anyone understands.
So why do you think that more people are not talking about it?
I think that, like Michelle Obama, they say that they feel like a personal failure, and they are embarrassed and disappointed, and they are sad and difficult to share. We all have a grandmother and aunt who says if you just relax, it will only happen to you. So this kind of comment is not very helpful. Therefore, I think that people do not want to do this because they do not want to deal with family and social reactions.
Michelle Obama also revealed that she is a spontaneous abortion. And again, this is something we do not talk much about. How common is spontaneous abortion?
They happen to be at least 20 percent of the time. So about 1 in 5 pregnant women will end up losing. And I think that as long as someone goes out of mischief, they really do not understand how often this happens. I hear that many patients say I told my sister that I was just a miscarriage and she told me that she also had one and my mother told me she had two! So, as long as this happens, people feel so isolated and confused about it.
Michelle Obama was about 34 or 35 and she said "the biological clock is real." So age is a factor?
Absolutely, most importantly, I will say about the quality of eggs, because we do not really have anything we could do about egg quality. So, parents, the quality of our eggs will start to fall. But this is also important for the amount of eggs. So, since we are older, we have fewer and fewer eggs. And when we do the IVF cycle, the second best predictor of success is how many eggs we can get in an IVF cycle. So it's about 50 percent if you're less than 35 percent to around 5 percent when you are 40.
Talk about Illinois's people's costs and their reality. What are the costs? Which applies to?
Illinois is a unique country, and we call it an empowered state. So companies outside Illinois need fertility coverage. But, you know, not everyone living or working in Illinois is with or outside of Illinois, or there are gaps in it. So, we see in our practice everywhere from the absolute do not take four IVF cycles for a year. Usually this is usually the best plan we will see. If you do not have any coverage, one IVF cycle is about $ 15,000. So this is quite a significant expense. And even if you know the overlay, you know, some plans will give you a maximum of $ 20,000. So, it seems like it's a lot of money, but it can get one IVF cycle as well as a bit of evaluation. But sometimes it takes more than one cycle. Of course, this definitely makes the process and treatment inaccessible to some couples, that's definitely.
Do you think that Michelle Obama's revelations will help women talk and cope with their struggles?
I think so. I think that women talk more about it – especially the strong, the strong, the beautiful, which makes it look so perfect and easy in life – it really helps to look at things that someone is hard to imagine, and that's no fault. Sometimes it's just biology and a little rotten luck. Therefore, I think that some of its normalization can really be useful and only confirms the support that you are not alone in this process, that many people have the wrong ability and many people need help with their entire baby or just one of them pregnant or first or maybe it's the second one. So yes, I think it will really be really useful.
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