Many American couples now plan their families as meticulously as they do their educations, choices of career, living situations, and major financial investments-measuring all factors and waiting until the moment for starting a family is exactly right:

Six years ago my husband and I got married. We knew that children would definitely be a part of our life. The question was not IF, but WHEN. We waited a few years so I could use my college degree, bought a house, and established ourselves financially before we were ready to bring children into the world. … I sit here many years later with a wonderful husband, the house of my dreams, years of teaching experience, established roots. But the children we had presumed we would have … are denied us.

For one of six couples of childbearing age, fertility is not a force to be turned on at will. Infertility, the inability to achieve pregnancy after a year of regular sexual relations, or the inability to carry pregnancy to live birth, will be experienced by 15% of the population of childbearing age. A recent United States Census Bureau report states that there are now 220 million Americans, and that 66 million (30%) are between the usual childbearing ages of 22 and 40 years. By applying the accepted rate of infertility -15%- we can determine that 10 million people are currently affected by infertility in America (United States Census estimates and projections, based on July 1978).

Medical investigation and treatment of infertility have made great strides in discovering and curing problems of female and male infertility in recent years. It is estimated that 50% to 60% of all infertility can be treated if the couple has access to expert medical care. Some of the most reknowned specialists are claiming cure rates of 70% to 80% for certain types of problems. These cures are not achieved without cost. A couple may incur tremendous physical, emotional, and financial expense -sometimes also years of effort and numerous opinions- before the longed-for baby is born to them.

Source: Fertility and Sterility