What is infertility?
In general, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex. Because fertility in women is known to decline steadily with age, some providers evaluate and treat women aged 35 years or older after 6 months of unprotected sex.
Is infertility just a woman’s problem?
No, infertility is not always a woman’s problem. Both men and women can contribute to infertility. Many couples struggle with infertility and seek help to become pregnant, but it is often thought of as only a woman’s condition. However, in about 35% of couples with infertility, a male factor is identified along with a female factor. In about 8% of couples with infertility, a male factor is the only identifiable cause.
What causes infertility in women?
Women need functioning ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and a uterus to get pregnant. Conditions affecting any one of these organs can contribute to female infertility.
What causes infertility in men?
Infertility in men can be caused by different factors and is typically evaluated by a semen analysis. When a semen analysis is performed, the number of sperm (concentration), motility (movement), and morphology (shape) are assessed by a specialist. A slightly abnormal semen analysis does not mean that a man is necessarily infertile.
How do doctors treat infertility?
Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, intrauterine insemination, or assisted reproductive technology. Often, medication and intrauterine insemination are used at the same time. Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility.
What is an IVF treatment?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a treatment for infertility. It involves retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm. This fertilized egg is known as an embryo. The embryo can then be frozen for storage or transferred to a woman’s uterus. This is a latest treatment and has helped millions of infertile couples.