Fertility declines naturally as women age—and maybe sooner than you think.
For more information, visit ReproductiveFacts.org.
If you are having difficulty conceiving or suspect that you or your partner may be infertile, seek out a reproductive health specialist for a fertility evaluation. Use our Reproductive Endocrinologist finder to help you get started.
|ASRM infertility guidelinesa:|
|If you are…||You should seek a fertility evaluation if…|
|Younger than 35 years||You are unable to get pregnant after 1 year of unprotected intercourse|
|35 years or older||You are unable to get pregnant after 6 months of unprotected intercourse|
Other issues, such as irregular or absent periods or sexual dysfunction, could be a sign of fertility issues. Consider seeing a specialist if you are experiencing any of these issues.b
If you’re struggling to have a baby, you’re not alone. An estimated 7.5 million women in the United States struggle with infertility.c There are a number of causes of infertility, and they can occur in men and/or women.
Ovulation disorders or hormone imbalances
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Blocked fallopian tubes or uterine disorders
Diminished ovarian reserve and/or poor egg quality
Uterine factors (eg, fibroids and polyps)
Immunity/blood clotting disorders
Low sperm count
Abnormal sperm movement or shape
Imbalance in hormone levels
Immune system response that kills sperm
Depending on your diagnosis, your fertility specialist may recommend intrauterine insemination (IUI) and/or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
In an IUI procedure, sperm is placed directly into the uterus. The procedure involves placing a long, flexible catheter through the cervix and gently expelling the sperm.
IUI success rates vary considerably and are dependent on many factors, which may include the number of follicles present, sperm quantity and quality, and any other underlying factors that may be preventing you from having a baby.
Your doctor may recommend skipping IUI and proceeding directly to IVF. The decision to progress to IVF is based on a number of factors, which may include age of the female partner, medical history, and patient preference.
With IVF, sperm and eggs (ova) are combined outside the body in a laboratory. Fertilized eggs (embryos) are then reintroduced into the uterus to achieve pregnancy. Whether a fertility specialist recommends IVF depends on a number of factors, which are usually determined through clinical tests.
IVF success rates vary considerably and are dependent on a number of factors. To learn more about improving your chances of getting pregnant with IVF, visit Factors to be considered.
Work with your doctor to determine the right fertility procedure for you.