If you and your partner are struggling to have a baby, you’re not alone. In the United States, 10% to 15% of couples are infertile. Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year for most couples. Infertility may result from an issue with either you or your partner, or a combination of factors that prevent pregnancy. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective therapies that significantly improve your chances of getting pregnant.
The main symptom of infertility is not getting pregnant. There may be no other obvious symptoms. Sometimes, women with infertility may have irregular or absent menstrual periods. In some cases, men with infertility may have some signs of hormonal problems, such as changes in hair growth or sexual function. Most couples will eventually conceive,
with or without treatment. When to see a doctor
You probably don’t need to see your health care provider about infertility unless you have been trying regularly to get pregnant for at least one year. Women should talk with a care provider earlier, however, if they:
- Are age 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months or longer • Are over age 40
- Have irregular or absent periods
- Have very painful periods
- Have known fertility problems
- Have been diagnosed with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease
- Have had multiple miscarriages
- Have undergone treatment for cancer
- Fertilization and implantationOpen pop-up dialog box
- Male reproductive systemOpen pop-up dialog box
- Female reproductive systemOpen pop-up dialog box
- All of the steps during ovulation and fertilization need to happen correctly in order to get pregnant. Sometimes the issues that cause infertility in couples are present at birth, and sometimes they develop later in life. • Infertility causes can affect one or both partners. Sometimes, no cause can be found.