About half of patients with subfertility seek medical help three years after unsuccessful conception, a survey showed.
CHA Bundang Medical Center’s Fertility Center conducted a poll on new 1,127 patients to gauge how long it took them to visit the center after trying pregnancy. Around 47 percent, or 532 patients, said it took three years.
|Kwon Hwang, head of the Fertility Center at CHA Bundang Medical Center, provides consultation for a subfertile patient.|
Also, 187 respondents (16.6 percent) said it took three to four years, and 108 patients (9.6 percent), four to five years. As many as 237 patients (21 percent) waited for more than five years to visit the center. Only 83 patients (7.3 percent) sought the fertility clinic’s help within a year after trying conception.
On average, it took 3.17 years for subfertile patients to visit the hospital.
Physicians define subfertility as failing to get pregnant even after unprotected intercourse within six months if female patients are over 35 years old, and within one year if they are under 35.
Infertility is closely related to the age of women. From the age of 35, women’s fertility declines sharply. At around 44, most women become infertile. Even if women over 35 have many egg counts and normal menstrual cycles, the aging causes eggs to age and increases chromosome abnormality of eggs. The higher the age, the greater the chromosomal abnormality with the fewer eggs, the poll showed.
With aging, gynecological diseases, which can be a cause of infertility, go up. The incidences of tubal disease, metropathy, and endometriosis also rise with aging.
Besides, as the age increases, the quality of eggs deteriorates. The more frequent failures of implantation due to low egg quality, the less chance for a successful in vitro fertilization, it said.
“The average age of Koreans at marriage is rising. Many people visit the fertility clinic too late and find it hard to treat subfertility,” said Kwon Hwang, head of the Fertility Center at CHA Bundang Medical Center.
If you’re over 35 and can’t get pregnant without unprotected intercourse for six months, or if you’re under 35 and can’t do so for a year, you must visit a hospital, get a checkup and find a solution, he added.
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