FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- New data from the World Health Organization suggests infertility impacts more couples than previously thought.
A Valley couple is sharing their story to raise awareness to better support those in their infertility journey.
For proud parents, Nicki and Mario Trevino, the journey to parenthood was not easy.
"A lot of people think it's just a female issue, but it's actually pretty equal male to female," said Nicki Trevino, co-founder of the nonprofit, In The Waiting.
Diagnosed with Male Factor infertility, the couple began IVF treatments with Dr. Carolina Sueldo at Women's Specialty and Fertility Center in Clovis.
It would be two and a half years and three IVF transfers before their now 19-month-old son Reeves was born.
"We went into IVF thinking, 'Okay, it's gonna happen right like the first chat.' You know, it's 'everything's just gonna work out.' It didn't work that way for us and it doesn't work that way for a lot of people."
Nicki and Mario's IVF journey not only brought them a family, the pair started In the Waiting to remind Valley couples they're not alone in their infertility journey.
"There's a lot of stigma around it. People don't always feel comfortable talking about it, whether they're experiencing it or someone else is experiencing it," said Nicki.
"Infertility patients go through grief, trauma. One of the ways of coping is being able to rely and depend on those around you," said Dr. Sueldo.
A new study by the World Health Organization shows infertility affects one in six people worldwide.
Here in the US, that number is closer to one in five, according to the CDC.
"It's data as fertility specialists, we knew. It's just nice to see it put in numbers. I think the other thing that's really important to highlight is infertility doesn't discriminate," said Dr. Sueldo.
Despite infertility impacting couples of all socio-economic statuses, the treatment can be expensive, limiting access to care for many.
3:13 "There's only a handful of states that require infertility coverage, and as we look to national infertility awareness week, we really want to focus in on that, access to care," explained Dr. Sueldo.
Infertility is defined as not becoming pregnant after a couple has been trying for more than a year, but other factors could come into play.
"In women over 35 who are also having regular monthly predictable cycles, that time frame is six months," said Dr. Sueldo. "Across all age groups, if you have irregular periods, extremely painful periods if there's a significant risk factor for infertility. I always encourage patients to seek help sooner than those six and 12-month marks."
In The Waiting not only raises awareness but fundraises for couples trying to conceive.