Infertility is defined as unable to become pregnant after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex. Since the birth rate in women is known to decline steadily with age, some providers evaluate and treat women aged 35 years and older after 6 months of unprotected sex. Women with infertility should consider the appointment of a reproductive endocrinologist – a doctor who specializes in the treatment of infertility. Reproductive endocrinologists can also help women with intermittent pregnancy loss, defined as having two or more spontaneous abortions.
Pregnancy is the result of a process that has many steps. To get pregnant
- The body of a woman should release an egg from one of its ovaries (ovulation).
- The sperm of a person must join the egg along the way (fertilizer).
- The fertilized egg must pass through the fallopian tube to the uterus
- The fertilized egg should be attached to the inside of the uterus (implantation).
Some interesting facts about infertility
- About 7% married women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States cannot become pregnant after 1 year of trying. In addition, about 13% women aged 15 to 44 years in the United States experience difficulties with pregnancy.
- Many couples seek help to conceive and struggle with infertility. However, it is often considered only a woman’s condition. About 35% of couples with infertility is identified by a male factor along with a female factor. In about 8% of couples with infertility, the male factor is the only identifiable cause.
- It is known that female fertility declines with age. More women are waiting until their thirty and forty years old have children. In fact, about 25% of women in the United States now have their first child after 35 years. About a third of couples in which a woman is over 35 years of age have birth problems. Aging not only reduces a woman’s chances of having a baby but also increases her chances of miscarriage and the presence of a child with a genetic anomaly.