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    The Fertility Diaries: When a Friend Is Pregnant -- and You're Not

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    "Everything we'd gone through was devastating, but at least we finally had a plan of action, and I felt so confident with our new doctor that I was able to find some peace with all our issues."

    As the summer of 2006 stretched on, all that Jody, Carrie, and Jenny could do was simply wait and wonder. Would Jody's fertility treatments work this time? Would Carrie's pregnancy continue to progress smoothly? Would Jenny's second child be born healthy and thriving -- and come home with her safely? These unanswered questions left three good friends struggling with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. But they knew one thing for sure: Whatever happened, they'd get through it together.

    Fertility: The Facts

    Trying to conceive can feel anything but normal. Here, how Americans fare in the quest for baby.

    85% of couples will become pregnant without assistance after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse.

    10% of the reproductive-age population is affected by infertility.

    43% more babies were born to women ages 35 to 39 in 2004 than in 1990.

    40% of the time, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility.

    85% to 90% of infertility cases can be treated with conventional therapies such as a drug treatment (like Clomid) or the surgical repair of reproductive organs.

    Sources: American Society for Reproductive Medicine; National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    When at First You Don't Conceive

    If you've been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for more than 12 months (or six months if you're over 35), visit your ob/gyn. Most gynecologists can perform the initial tests to help determine the source of the problem, says Arthur Castelbaum, M.D., codirector of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Temple University School of Medicine. Here, what to expect during your first visits.

    Physical exam: After identifying any lifestyle factors that can hinder conception, such as smoking and obesity, your doctor may perform a transvaginal ultrasound to help rule out conditions such as fibroids (tissue growth on the uterus that can block the fallopian tubes), and/or a blood test to determine a hormonal imbalance.

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