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.

Comments (20)
  1. justsayin' says:

    This is not news WBZ! I am finding most of the people who go through fertility treatments shouldn’t have kids to begin with. See I am one of those people who am sick and tired of mothers at work and picking up their slack so they can pick up their kids.

    1. suesal says:

      What a dumb statement!

      1. emom says:

        No more like an idiot,, really women cant be mothers and work.. SORRY BUCKO.. MILLIONS WORK AND ARE MOTHERS, THE NERVE…… I work , am a mother and NEVER LEAVE MY WORK FOR OTHERS TO DO.. Besides when you go on vacation US WOMEN HAVE TO DO YOUR WORK,… SO ITS EVEN.. What a sad person you are

  2. Keiko Zoll, Infertility Patient says:

    Hi JustSayin’,

    Considering infertlity affects 7.3 million people in the United States along (1 in 8 couples) with even higher rates internationally (as many as 1 in 6 in Canada and the UK) infertility is a global public health crisis, and thus newsworthy.

    I’m sorry you struggle at your job. I’m also sorry you feel the need to pass judgement on a) who is entitled to have children and b) people living with a recognized disease seeking treatment.

    I hope that if and when you ever decide to have children you don’t face the same barriers that me and my husband – and 7.3 million others – have had to face. For more information about our infertility experience, you can read our story at my blog,

    ~Keiko Zoll

    1. Julie Bright says:

      Very well said Keiko! I am one of those 7.3 million others!

  3. al4624 says:

    well obviously you are a mean person and you definately should not breed if you think that way!……..just sayin’……

  4. ad8194 says:

    How heartless some people are. Yet I bet she’s the first one to whine and cry if she has the hiccups. People like this, make statements like this because they want attention. Not because they have anything of relevance to share…or because they’re so miserable in their lives they get shear enjoyment out of other people suffering as well.

  5. Keiko Zoll, Infertility Patient says:

    I’d also like to add that comments like JustSayin’s are the reason so many people struggling with infertility choose to remain silent. Infertility patients don’t feel culturally supported as a patient community. Our issues are seen as a lifestyle choice when in fact, it’s a medical disease. I never chose to be infertile.

    I can however, choose to be an advocate and a voice for this community.

    I’m grateful and honored that WBZ & Reporter Christina Hager aproached me for this story to help lift some of that silence. Her piece was informative, compassionate, and sensitive to the struggles the infertility community faces, particularly younger women.

    A small correction to the piece: my husband and I are looking at paying $18,000 out of pocket for IVF with donor egg, not $1800 as reported.

  6. Jen Clark says:

    Well said Keiko! Thank you for your voice on this. I am one of those 7.3 million as well!

  7. john papoutsis says:

    just sayin’ you are a tool

  8. ProjectPCOSBaby says:

    I hope they correct this video with the true costs! And also point out that although MA does have supportive laws, if a company is self-insured or out of state they do not have to abide by the state law and only have to provide coverage under ERISA mandates. We’re paying $800 a month for COBRA coverage because it covers infertility and that was the cheaper option than paying out of pocket. My injections for my third cycle cost over $3,000 a month! Thanks for being a voice, Keiko. I also get through by blogging my feelings. People can read more at

  9. Willow says:

    Did I miss something here? Who is everyone talking about that they think is mean and miserable?

    My step-daughter and her husband are among the 7.3 million also. Many people would make wonderful parents, and hopefully they will someday hold their child in their arms.

  10. Aaren says:

    I just turned 30 years old last month. At age 29 I found out that I was suffering from premature ovarian failure and most likely had a short time before going into premature menopause. In the rush to try and have children in the short amount of time we had left my husband and I used our savings (and then some) to do 3 IVF cycles that failed miserably. We have now learned that my chances of having a child are so low we need to move on to a donor egg cycle, which costs about $23,000 in Dallas, TX and our insurance does not pay for a penny of it. I never expected, as a healthy 29 year old, that I would be told I couldn’t have children. This is definitely not a choice by any means.

  11. larry says:

    In case anyone wondered why so many people with so many different difficulties decide to suffer in silence, so of the comments may be a clue. Of course, going public always incurs the risk of reprisal but without such individuals taking the risk many would continue to misunderstand. It’s difficult to walk in another person’s shoes but that does not justify vilification for publicly sharing one’e personal pain. At the worst, people who disagree with an opinion that does not jeopardize others, should simply ignore rather than attack. But then many of them have apparently also been hurt to harbor such negativity.

  12. wickedsmartmama says:

    What this report is missing is a 2nd part to the story….why are there so many young women having fertility problems??? Does this not concern anyone out there?? Yes I feel bad for all of these women who can’t conceive but how about someone doing a story about the sudden increase of problems.
    One of my theories is that BPA is an estrogen disrupter, 2nd- people are on the pill for so many years that they may being messing up their own bodies. I think this is a health crisis and research needs to be done ASAP.

  13. SilentAllTheseYears says:

    I’m another one of those women who were told she was in premature ovarian faliure in my mid-20s. I finally found success with donor eggs… only after I suffered through SIX miserable IVFs and 3 IUIs… an an ectopic that nearly killed me. I agree with WickedSmartMama: I hope I live long enough to find out what decimated the reproductive capabilities of my generation of women. I’m in a new place, but the pain of my journey changed me FOREVER. It’s a breathtakingly sad, unfair tragedy.

  14. Kate says:

    I’m also young and facing infertility. I was diagnosed at 29 with severe endometriosis and a blocked Fallopian tube. I never had any major symptoms of endo. I currently have no health ins coverage for ivf and certainly not the cash for it. It is a difficult struggle when other people get pregnant so easily. I thought waiting until this age was responsible , never would have guessed I would not be able to conceive.

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