What is Infertility?

It is absolutely necessary to understand what is infertility, so that needless worries among couples who are trying for a baby can be avoided or the right medical intervention can be applied at the right time.

Infertility is defined in medical terms as the inability of a couple to get pregnant or to carry a pregnancy to full term. Infertility in a couple can be caused by male factors, female factors or both male and female factors. In some cases, exact cause of infertility may not be known (unexplained infertility).

What is Primary Infertility?

Primary infertility refers to a couple’s inability to get pregnant, even after trying to do so for one year by having regular sexual intercourse without contraception. It is advisable for a couple whose female partner is over 35 years of age to seek immediate medical help, if they are not able to conceive after 6 months of regular sexual intercourse without using any contraceptives. Special care should be taken to avoid any delay in medical diagnosis and treatment in such cases.

What is Secondary Infertility?

In secondary infertility, the couple had at least one child in the past (either with the same partner or with a different partner), but they are not able to get pregnant again, even after trying to do so for one year by having regular sexual intercourse without contraception.

Causes of primary and secondary infertility tend to be the same and same treatment methods are used for both.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) About Infertility

What are the statistics about prevalence of infertility?

It is estimated that one in seven couples (globally) has issues with successful conception.

What is male factor infertility?

If infertility in a couple is caused by a problem with the male partner’s reproductive system, it is called male factor infertility. Click here for more information on factors that can cause infertility in men.

What is female factor infertility?

If infertility in a couple is caused by a problem with the female partner’s reproductive system, it is called female factor infertility. Click here for more information on factors that can cause infertility in women.

What is unexplained infertility?

If an exact cause of infertility cannot be diagnosed, it is called unexplained infertility.

What are the risk factors of infertility?

Factors that can contribute to infertility are: aging, infections of thyroid gland, autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy, use of anti psychotic medicines and illegal drugs such as marijuana or cocaine, being overweight or underweight, overly intense exercise or no exercise, stress, excessive drinking, smoking, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), infections in the reproductive tract, occupational and environmental factors such as exposure to harmful substances or temperature.

What are the causes of infertility?

Please click causes of infertility in women and causes of infertility in men for detailed information.

What are the symptoms of infertility?

Please click symptoms of infertility in women and symptoms of infertility in men for detailed information.

How is infertility tested and diagnosed?

Please click infertility test for womeninfertility test for men for detailed information.

How is infertility treated?

Please click infertility treatment for women and infertility treatment for men for detailed information.

When should some one get tested for infertility?

Testing of both male and female partners are recommended, if the couple is not able to get pregnant, even after trying to do so for one year by having regular sexual intercourse without using any contraceptives. Testing after 6 months is advisable for a couple, if the female partner is over 35 years of age.