1 in 6, really?

#1in6 You've probably seen that hashtag and you probably don't believe it. Last week was infertility awareness week in Canada and since 1 in 6 Canadian couples experience infertility we promoted that hashtag to raise awareness of how common infertility is.

I rarely believe those stats. I think I've become numb to all the horrors and disease in the world. Stats like 1 in 5 children don't eat breakfast, 1 in 10 people have diabetes seem hard to reconcile with the rates in my friends and family. People who get pregnant easily and whose family members all have children likely also feel the way I do about such statistics: they must be over inflated.

Well, I can tell you the infertility statistics aren't. In my children's classes there are donor egg children, donor sperm children, surrogacy children, and several other children conceived with IVF. Indeed, adding up just the children who I know their mode of conception it's more like 1 in 5 in their classes. There are no doubt other children conceived by IVF, or similar fertility treatments, that I don't know. In the past decade I have rarely been to the mall, grocery store, or beach and not recognized a patient and I am just one of many infertility doctors in BC.

I also know "1 in 6" is accurate based on diagnostic codes doctors' use in BC, self-reported infertility rates and Health Canada data. Yup, if you are thinking about trying to conceive there is a 1 in 6 chance you'll need some help. We can help.