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My brother and sister-in-law tried for years to get pregnant, as did another brother and his wife. Unfortunately, my family is not unique. More than 1 in 8 couples -- over 7 million Americans -- have trouble getting pregnant.
But when you're the one staring at a negative pregnancy test, month after month, it's easy to feel alone, guilty and embarrassed. And those feelings can stop people from seeking help. That's why RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association launched a new campaign for this week's National Infertility Awareness Week which includes an online resource, FertilityGuide.com, to help couples who are having trouble getting pregnant.
"Going to a fertility specialist is, on some level, accepting that there is an issue, so many women don't want to do that," says Roshini Rajapaksa, M.D., an internist at NYU Langone Medical Center (known as Dr. Raj) and TODAY show contributor. "But the longer you wait, the lower your chances are of having a successful outcome, even with the best technology."
If you're under 35 and have been trying unsuccessfully for a year to get pregnant, or if you're over 35 and have been trying for six months, you should see a fertility specialist, say Dr. Raj. FertilityGuide.com includes a section to help you locate one in your area.
One of my brothers and his wife ultimately chose adoption; they're now the parents of two beautiful children. The other couple welcomed their first child -- a big, healthy girl -- earlier this year.