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Misunderstanding Fertility Treatments continued...
She adds that couples often wrongly believe that infertility treatments can
reliably prolong a woman's fertility. This thinking may be less pervasive in
the U.S. than in Sweden, where the government pays for the treatment.
"There is the feeling that if we can't have babies the normal way, we
can rely on in vitro fertilization," she says. "But they are not aware
that the chances of success with IVF also decline with age."
Julie Greenstein, who is director of government relations for the
infertility support group RESOLVE, says women who have had a child before age
35 may not recognize the risks associated with waiting to have other
"If they had an easy time getting pregnant with a first child, they may
wait longer than they should to seek treatment if they are having
problems," she says. "The thinking may be, 'I can't have a problem with
fertility because I already have a child.'"
Greenstein says women under 35 who have tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant
for a year should see an infertility specialist. Women over 35 should wait no
longer than six months.