What is infertility ?

Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after at least one year of trying . Women who are able to get pregnant but have recurrent miscarriages are also considered infertile.
During pregnancy the following  must occur

  • a woman must release an egg from one of her ovaries
  • the egg must travel through the fallopian tube to the uterus
  • a man’s sperm must fertilize the egg on the way
  • there fertilized egg must be attached to the inside of the uterus (implantation)

Infertility can result from problems that interfere with any of these steps.


infertility FAQS


Is infertility a woman’s problem ?


  • Infertility is  found in both men and women and affect both sexes almost equally.
  • Decline in sperm counts, testicular abnormalities and decreased reach of climax are common causes of men being infertile
  • The most common  cause  of infertility in  women include  endometriosis,  polycystic ovary  syndrome and advanced maternal age which affects quality and quantity of egg


How common is infertility ?


  • Infertility is a growing issue among couples. It affects approximately 10 %  ( 6.1 million American couple) of American couple of childbearing age

How long should a couple try before going to see the doctor ?


The American Society of Reproductive Medicine  recommends that

  • women under 35 years of age  should consult their doctors after trying to conceive for more than 12 months
  • women over the age of 35 years should consult their doctors after trying to conceive for over 6 months


What increases a woman’s risk of infertility ?


Some the factors that may affect a woman’s fertility include the following :

  • age
  • stress
  • being overweight or underweight
  • smoking
  • drinking alcohol
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • poor diet
  • health problems that cause hormonal changes


What increases a man’s risk of infertility ?


These factors may put a man at high risk of not being fertile include .

  • alcohol
  • smoking
  • drugs
  • radiation treatment and chemotherapy for cancer
  • environmental toxins including pesticides and lead
  • age
  • health problems


How do doctors treat infertility ?

It can be treated with the following :

  • medicine
  • surgery
  • intra- uterine insermination
  • assisted reproductive technology

Most of these treatments are combined. However doctors recommend specific treatments based on the following :

  • age of the female
  • factors contributing to not being fertile
  • duration of not being able to conceive
  • couple treatment option after they have been counseled about success rate, benefits and risks of each treatment option

Content Sources

Infertility and fertility FAQ.American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/infertility/fertility-faq/. Accessed August 30, 2015
Frequently asked questions about infertility . WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/frequently-asked-questions-infertility?page=6. Accessed August 30, 2015
Infertility FAQs. Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/#z. August 30, 2015

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