What Is Infertility?
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system and can occur in the male or the female. Male infertility as well as female infertility is a world-wide problem and it is estimated to affect about 10 percent of the population, or 1 in 10 couples. Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected intercourse. If the female is over 35 years of age, the length of time to become pregnant is shortened to 6 months. As a female gets older, the incidence of female infertility tends to increase.
The causes of infertility can be divided into four categories:
- Male Infertility Factor (Decreased sperm motility, lack of sperm production, and/ or abnormal sperm)
- Female Infertility Factor (Ovulation disorders, inadequate hormone production, blocked fallopian tubes, age, abnormal embryo implantation, endometriosis, fibroids, and/or adhesions)
- Combination of the two (male & female) (Systemic disease, immunological and/or anatomical)
Once male infertility or female infertility is diagnosed, Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) can be used to help infertility treatment and assist the couple in their goals of conceiving.