We know: All About Infertility
What is infertility?
Infertility is usually defined as not being able to get pregnant despite trying for one year. A broader view of infertility includes not being able to carry a pregnancy to term and have a baby. Infertility affects about 6.1 million Americans, or 10 percent of the reproductive age population.
Can both men and women be infertile?
Yes. About one third of infertility cases are due to problems with the man (male factors) and one third are due to problems with the woman (female factors). Other cases are due to a combination of male and female factors or to unknown causes.
What can cause infertility in women?
How is infertility tested?
For a man, testing usually begins with tests of his semen to look at the number, shape, and movement of his sperm. Sometimes other kinds of tests, such as hormone tests, are done.
For a woman, the first step in testing is to find out if she is ovulating each month. There are several ways to do this. For example, she can keep track of changes in her morning body temperature and in the texture of her cervical mucus. Another tool is a home ovulation test kit, which can be bought at drug or grocery stores.
Checks of ovulation can also be done in the doctor's office, using blood tests for hormone levels or ultrasound tests of the ovaries. If the woman is ovulating, more tests will need to be done.
What is the treatment for infertility?
Depending on the test results, different treatments can be suggested. Eighty-five to 90 percent of infertility cases are treated with drugs or surgery.
The information for this article was made available by the National Women's Health Information Center.