Fertility Answers - Helping Build Families

Gift of Hope 2012 – Shawna & Colby

Unexplained infertility frustrates Carencro couple wishing to have a family

Dreams come true for Shawna and Colby Cormier, awarded Gift of Hope IVF Grant 2012 for a chance to build their family.

Shawna & Colby - Gift of Hope IVF Grant recipients
Shawna & Colby – Gift of Hope IVF Grant recipients

Shawna and her husband Colby had been battling infertility for years due to unknown causes. “We are so excited and honored to have been selected for this amazing gift,” says Shawna. “The entire day after getting the call that we had won, I had to keep looking back at my phone to reassure myself that I really did get the call and wasn’t just dreaming it.”

High school sweethearts, the Cormiers had been married for eight years and trying to have a baby for six of those years. After being unsuccessful for about a year, Shawna and Colby sought an opinion from Shawna’s gynecologist who tested the couple for egg and sperm quality. After extensive testing of both Shawna’s egg quality and fallopian tubes and Colby’s sperm, it was determined that the cause of their inability to conceive was due to a low sperm count for Colby. Their doctor prescribed medicine for Colby to increase his sperm count which proved successful. When they still did not achieve pregnancy, their doctor then recommended intrauterine insemination (IUI), a procedure in which sperm is placed directly in the uterine cavity near the time of ovulation.

After seven IUIs and thousands of dollars later, the Cormiers were still not pregnant. What has been most frustrating to the Cormiers and their doctors is that their infertility is due to unknown causes. Called simply “unexplained infertility,” this diagnosis affects approximately 20% of all infertile couples. It defines couples with normal fallopian tubes, ovulation and sperm analysis who nonetheless experience infertility. There are many possible causes, and some can be treated with assisted reproductive technology, like IUIs. With unexplained infertility, treatment with inseminations is the most appropriate plan for several months before a more aggressive treatment with in vitro fertilization is recommended since many couples will conceive with less invasive and less costly treatments.

For Shawna and Colby, having no explanation for their inability to conceive a child is incredibly frustrating and devastating. After every failed IUI, Shawna would ask herself, “Are we horrible people that don’t deserve a child?” The cost of infertility treatments has been financially draining, and the price of IVF, their next step in their infertility care and the one that offers the best chance for her to conceive, is a procedure not covered by the couple’s health insurance. “It’s very indescribable to know that money is the only thing standing in our way to possibly having our dream come true,” the Cormiers say. “Something that our bodies are supposed to do naturally will cost us $12,000. It just doesn’t seem fair.”