BOSTON (CBS) — Doctors say more couples are getting treatment for infertility at younger ages, and the stress they face only adds to their challenges.
28-year-old Keiko Zoll and her husband Larry know all too well. “We fully expected we’d have kids within the first three to four years of marriage,” says Keiko.
Then she got the diagnosis that would throw that plan into a tailspin. Doctors told her she’s infertile.
“I didn’t feel like my biological clock was really ticking at the time, so it caught us by surprise…It really blind-sided us.”
Dr. Alice Domar, a fertility specialist with Boston IVF and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center isn’t surprised. “My youngest patient was 21.”
WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.
She says a patient’s relative youth can sometimes make the struggle even worse. Younger couples are often under more career and financial stress than their older counterparts.
“Women who work who worry about missing work or women who worry about the cost of treatment are significantly less likely to get pregnant during IVF,” says Dr. Domar.
Domar recently published a study showing relaxation improves the success of fertility treatment. Her theory is that stress sends subliminal signals to the brain indicating it may not be a safe time to reproduce.
Keiko Zoll tries to manage her stress through blogging. She produced an award-winning video expressing the unending questions that run through her mind. “What if we finally save up our money for one IVF cycle and it fails?” Massachusetts law requires insurance companies to cover IVF treatments, but the Zolls still have to save thousands of dollars to pay for a donor egg.
What may relieve some of their stress, this month federal lawmakers introduced a bill that would allow IVF patients a tax credit, similar to the one adoptive parents get.