Also called: Sterility

Infertility means not being able to become pregnant after a year of trying. If a woman can get pregnant but keeps having miscarriages or stillbirths, that's also called infertility.

Infertility is fairly common. After one year of having unprotected sex, about 15 percent of couples are unable to get pregnant. About a third of the time, infertility can be traced to the woman. In another third of cases, it is because of the man. The rest of the time, it is because of both partners or no cause can be found.

There are treatments that are specifically for men or for women. Some involve both partners. Drugs, assisted reproductive technology, and surgery are common treatments. Happily, many couples treated for infertility go on to have babies.

NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Symptoms of Infertility

The following features are indicative of Infertility:
  • not able to get pregnant

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Common Causes of Infertility

The following are the most common causes of Infertility:
  • abnormal sperm production or function
  • problems with the delivery of sperm
  • overexposure to certain environmental factors
  • ovulation disorder
  • uterine or cervical abnormalities
  • fallopian tube damage or blockage

Other Causes of Infertility

The following are the less common causes of Infertility:
  • damage related to cancer and its treatment
  • Endometriosis
  • primary ovarian insufficiency
  • pelvic adhesions

Risk Factors for Infertility

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Infertility:
  • over age 40
  • tobacco use
  • alcohol use
  • being overweight
  • being underweight
  • exercise issues

Prevention of Infertility

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Infertility. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • prevent yourself from sexually transmitted infections
  • take a healthy diet
  • maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle

Occurrence of Infertility

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Infertility cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Infertility most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-50 years

Common Gender

Infertility most commonly occurs in the following gender:
  • Female

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Infertility

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Infertility:
  • Semen analysis: To analyze semen specimen
  • Hormone testing: To check the level of testosterone and hormones of male
  • Genetic testing: To diagnose any genetic defect
  • Testicular biopsy: To diagnose abnormalities causing infertility and to get sperm to use with assisted reproductive techniques
  • Ovulation testing: To check whether a female ovulating
  • Hysterosalpingography: To check the condition of uterus and fallopian tubes and their blockage
  • Ovarian reserve testing: To check the quantity and quality of eggs for ovulation
  • Hormone testing: To check the levels of ovulatory hormones

Doctor for Diagnosis of Infertility

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Infertility:
  • Gynecologist
  • Urologist

Complications of Infertility if untreated

Yes, Infertility causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Infertility is left untreated:
  • impairment of function

Procedures for Treatment of Infertility

The following procedures are used to treat Infertility:
  • Surgery: To reverse a sperm blockage in men and restore fertility in women
  • Sperm retrieval: To get sperm when no sperm is present in the ejaculated fluid or when ejaculation is a problem
  • Intrauterine insemination: To place healthy sperms directly in the uterus of woman

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Infertility

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Infertility:
  • Acupuncture therapy: To improve symptoms of Acupuncture
  • Herbal therapy: Most commonly utilized modalities for the treatment of infertility
  • Do meditation: Helps in improving sleep and lowering the stress

Patient Support for Treatment of Infertility

The following actions may help Infertility patients:
  • Support groups: Join support groups for patient with similar concern

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Infertility.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
Female Infertility
Male Infertility
Reproductive Hazards

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