What is infertility?

Most experts define infertility as not being able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying.  Women who are able to get pregnant but then have repeat miscarriages are also said to be infertile.

Pregnancy is the result of a complex chain of events. In order to get pregnant:

  • A woman must release an egg from one of her ovaries.
  • The egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus
  • A man's sperm must join with the egg along the way
  • The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus.

Infertility can result from problems that interfere with any of these steps

Is Infertility a common problem?

About 12 percent of women in the United States aged 15-44 had difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term in 2002 according to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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