Life isn't fair. It's a lesson we learn over and over again throughout our lives, first when a baby sister or brother takes all the attention, or when a kindergarten classmate always gets the box with the sharpest crayons. But it still smarts just as much when an undeserving colleague gets the promotion or the jerk gets the girl.
It's an especially painful education when it comes to infertility. Some women who fervently want to stay childless get pregnant accidentally from one instance of a missed pill, while others who chart their cycles religiously, time their sex scientifically and dearly want to conceive have no luck after months or years of trying.
There comes a point when man and woman schedule a doctor visit and get professional help figuring out what, exactly, is standing between them and a baby.
These aren't easy visits. No one wants it to be their "fault" that they may have to investigate assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) or adoption. After all, fertility in most cultures is seen as a measure of a man's masculinity or a woman's femininity. But getting to the bottom of things and finding a cause is the first step down a road that may lead to an easy fix and a healthy kid.
Here are five common possibilities.