- Infertility Pictures Slideshow
- Take the Infertility Quiz
- Infertility FAQs
- Patient Comments: Infertility - Cause
- Patient Comments: Infertility - Experiences
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
- Infertility facts
- What is infertility?
- Is infertility a common problem?
- Is infertility just a woman's problem?
- What causes infertility in men?
- What causes infertility in women?
- Ovarian function (presence or absence of ovulation and effects of ovarian "age")
- Tubal patency (fallopian tubes open, blocked, or swollen)
- Uterine contour (physical characteristics of the uterus)
- What things increase a woman's risk of infertility?
- How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors?
- How will doctors find out if a woman and her partner have fertility problems?
- How do doctors treat infertility?
- What are some of the specific treatments for male infertility?
- What medicines are used to treat infertility in women?
- What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
- What is assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
- What are the different types of assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
- Gestational Carrier
Quick GuideInfertility: Types, Treatments, and Costs
What is infertility?
In general, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year of unprotected sex. Women who do not have regular menstrual cycles, or are older than 35 years and have not conceived during a 6-month period of trying, should consider making an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist - an infertility specialist. These doctors may also be able to help women with recurrent pregnancy loss - 2 or more spontaneous miscarriages.
Pregnancy is the result of a process that has many steps.
To get pregnant -
- A woman's body must release an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation).
- A man's sperm must join with the egg along the way (fertilize).
- The fertilized egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus (womb).
- The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation).
Infertility may result from a problem with any or several of these steps.
Impaired fecundity is a condition related to infertility and refers to women who have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.