“NJN News’ Kent Manahan (KM) and Sarah Lee Kessler (SK) report:
KM: More than 6 million Americans of child-bearing age are infertile. Most of the time, doctors can identify the cause and work it out. Yet for half a million Americans who are suffering from unexplained infertility, there is frustration and heartbreak. NJN health and medical correspondent Sarah Kessler reports it doesn't have to be that way.
SK: For Saba Hocek Pratt, becoming a mother has been a four-year struggle. Baby Kenan was born following three routes of in-vitro fertilization, three miscarriages and over a hundred thousand dollars in expenses.
Saba: It's extremely emotionally and financially draining.
SK: Saba and her husband Bill, who are from Manhattan, were shuttled from one New York infertility specialist to the next. Despite the fact that Saba is 45 and egg quality decreases with age, doctors encouraged her to keep trying.
Saba: They said, ‘I'm sure you've got a good egg in there somewhere, and the chances are that if we do IVF we can find that good egg, and have a successful pregnancy.’
SK: But Saba and Bill didn't believe it. They did research and discovered that a simple test could tell conclusively whether her eggs were viable. It's called INHIBIN B. They turned to the nearest fertility specialist who offered it… Doctor Scott Roseff of West Orange.
Roseff: INHIBIN B is a test that we have been doing for many years now, and not many doctors do this. It is a fairly direct indication of a woman's egg quality and/or quantity.
SK: The test determined that Saba's best route to motherhood would be a donor's egg. Baby Kenan was conceived after just one try. Doctor Roseff says there are other tests out there that can clear up the diagnosis of unexplained infertility. Some, like those offered by Boston-based Repromedix, can reveal genetic flaws, immunological problems and autoimmune factors that prevent conception and cause miscarriages.
Roseff: It is my job to find out what's out there, what's advanced, what's cutting edge, and if it's been tested. Once you do that, unexplained infertility falls by the wayside.
SK: Bill Pratt, who is a first-time dad at age 51, says it's important to find out the cause of infertility sooner rather than later.
Bill: Time is an issue - obviously - because most people who have these problems are already pushing the clock.
SK: Sarah Lee Kessler NJN News, West Orange.”