What is infertility

A typical fertile couple in their mid-to-late 20s having regular sex has about a 20-25% chance of conceiving each month. After 6 months at least three-quarters of such couples will be pregnant, and after a year at least 90%.Infertility is usually defined as not becoming pregnant after a year of trying, but some couples know or suspect they are infertile well before a year is up. For instance, the woman might have irregular periods or not ovulate at all. Studies from various European countries show 15-20% of couples experience infertility some time in their reproductive life, so it is a very common problem. For many people infertility is not absolute. The chance of conception may be lower than normal, say only 1-5% a month, so it takes longer to get pregnant.

For some people infertility is absolute - there may be no sperm, or the womans fallopian tubes may be blocked. This used to be called sterility, but this is a misleading term because modern treatment gives most couples with absolute infertility a good chance of having a child. Very broadly about half of infertility is male based and about half female based. Whatever the cause of the infertility it is a couples problem and requires the couple to work together towards a solution.


  • Tubal problems.
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovulation disorders.
  • Polycystic ovaries.
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Hormonal problems.
  • Autoimmune (antibody) disorders .


  • Failed vasectomy removal.
  • Retrograde ejaculation.
  • Blocked ducts.
  • Absence of vans deferens.
  • Undescended testes in childhood.

When should I do something?

The right time to seek help is when you are concerned. Often simple tests to check ovulation and sperm quality will give you the assurance you need to happily try a little longer before more intensive investigation. Often these tests will quickly identify a problem, which can stop you wasting valuable time.

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