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Infertility Scorecard: One Family's Journey to Creating a Family - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Infertility Scorecard: One Family's Journey to Creating a Family

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Nearly one in eight couples experience the heartache associated with infertility. Add that up and that is more than seven million Americans who struggle conceiving a child.

The National Infertility Association recently released it's first-ever "fertility scorecard," which breaks down the availability of resources families have in each state. North Dakota ranked in 21 on the scorecard, and Minnesota did slightly better coming in at 16.

Valley News team's Eric Crest shares one couple's story of triumph in the face of the obstacle of starting a family.

Some people aren't necessarily trying to have a child, but it happens. While others have to try for years with no results. Then there are the Alberts, who actively sought help starting their family from medical professionals.

"We started trying about nine years ago and after about two years of not being able to conceive. We went to a doctor to see if anything is wrong," says Suzy Alberts of Fargo.

But doctors found nothing wrong. Whatever the barrier was, it wasn't diagnosed. Their final option was IVF, in vitro fertilization.

Dr. Stephanie Dahl, a physician at Sanford Health's Reproductive Medicine Clinic explains,"In vitro fertilization is removing the eggs from a woman's body. Getting a sample of sperm and putting them together at the lab."

At the Reproductive Medicine Clinic women 35 and under have a success rate of pregnancy about 70 percent of the time. That trumps the national average, which is closer to a 40 percent success rate. In vitro fertilization is often the last step, the last chance for a women to conceive.

"Patients feel like this is there last chance," Dr. Dahl explains. "And of course we want it to be successful for every family that goes through and unfortunately it sometimes doesn't work out. And it's tough to help families through that. Especially when it doesn't work. But often we try again and get success."

For moms and dads who consider children their success story, this often undiscussed medical option for infertility challenges ends with more than just one smiling face of triumph. Just ask the Alberts.

"We pretty much had tried everything that we could, and in vitro was the next step. So we talked about it for awhile. Discussed adoption too. But decided we were going to try the in vitro and we got lucky. Twice!" says Suzy Alberts.

When looking into infertility treatments the procedure itself runs $8,000 to $12,000 dollars. While not all insurance providers will pick up the bill, physicians at Sanford tell us Blue Cross Blue Shield tends to be the coverage leader, footing a large amount of the cost associated with infertility treatments.

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