3 months or longer6 months or longer9 months or longer1 year or longer
One year or longer
If a couple has regular unprotected sex for a year or longer and is still unable to conceive, they are considered to be infertile. However, a woman should consult a doctor sooner if she is over 40 years old or 35–40 years old and has been trying to conceive for six months.
Eleven percent of women aged 15–44 will at some time in their lives see a doctor about their fertility.
That's about 7 million women who will see a doctor for infertility testing, medical advice or treatments to help them get pregnant, or services other than routine prenatal care to help them prevent miscarriage.
A common misconception is that infertility is solely a women's problem, but it's just not true. In a third of cases, it can be traced back to the woman, and in another third of cases, it can be traced back to the man. As for the other third? It's either due to fertility issues in both partners or unknown causes.
Number of sperm, movement, and shapeNumber of sperm, strength, and shapeSize, number of sperm, and strengthNumber of sperm, shape, and color
Doctors look at the number of sperm, how they move, and how they're shaped.
Also known as their concentration, motility, and morphology, respectively. Together, these analyses give a more rounded assessment of a man's fertility. And if one of these turns out to be abnormal, it doesn't necessarily mean that the man is infertile — it allows doctors to determine if and how other factors are contributing to infertility.
A condition where sperm cells don't have tails to propel them toward the egg.A condition where a tissue builds up within the prostate, forming a seal, and preventing semen from exiting through the urethra.A condition in which a vein in the testicles is enlarged, affecting sperm counts and shape.A condition that makes sperm hostile toward each other, making it difficult for any of them to get to the egg.
A varicocele is a condition in which a vein in the testicles is enlarged, affecting sperm counts and shape.
Similar to varicose veins in the legs, varicoceles occur when blood backs up in a vein, causing it to become enlarged. The warmth of the blood can affect the number and shape of sperm. (Remember, testicles hang outside of the body because the best sperm is produced at temperatures slightly lower than body temperature.) Other conditions that affect male fertility include trauma to the testes, heavy alcohol use, smoking, cancer treatments, certain medications, and various other medical conditions.
It might seem to make sense, but men who supplement their bodies with testosterone can actually increase their chances of infertility.
A quarterThree-quartersHalfA third
Fertility problems occur in about a third of couples where the woman is 35 or older.
Age is in fact the biggest factor affecting a woman's fertility, and therefore her chances of having a baby. As women age, they have fewer eggs left in their ovaries, their eggs may not be as genetically healthy, and the risk of miscarriage is higher.
True. Aging does not increase the riskFalse. Aging definitely does increase risk
False! Aging does increase a man's risk of infertility.
However, aging does not play as important a role in infertility risk as it does in women. Problems with conceiving a baby are more common in couples where the man is 40 years of age or older.
OvariesFallopian tubesUterusAll of the aboveOnly the ovaries and the uterus
Every one of these organs has to function properly if a woman wishes to get pregnant.
And there are quite a lot of health issues that can affect these organs, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which affects a woman's ability to ovulate, and endometriosis, where tissue that normally grows inside of the uterus grows outside of it — such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and bowels.
AgeSmokingExcessive alcohol useExtreme weight gain or weight lossAll of these can affect fertility
It's none of the above.
Meaning that all of these can increase a woman's chance of having infertility problems.
In the uterusIn the fallopian tubesIn the ovariesIn the vagina
Sperm typically fertilizes an egg in the fallopian tubes.
It's a long way to travel for such a tiny cell, but from the vagina, the sperm goes up through the uterus and into the fallopian tube, where it meets with the egg. From there, the fertilized egg travels to the uterus, where it attaches to the uterine wall and pregnancy begins.
Intrauterine inseminationIn vitro fertilizationGamete intrafallopian transferIntracytoplasmic sperm injection
Artificial insemination is the more common term for intrauterine insemination.
It's a type of infertility treatment in which sperm is inserted into a woman's uterus via a catheter. Sometimes, the woman will also be treated with meds that stimulate ovulation before undergoing the procedure.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) includes any and all fertility treatments in which both eggs and embryos are handled outside of the body. They usually involve removing eggs from a woman's ovaries, combining them with sperm in the lab, and then returning an embryo to the woman's body or donating one or more embryos to another woman.
In vitro fertilizationGamete intrafallopian transferZygote intrafallopian transferIntrauterine insemination
Intrauterine insemination is not considered an assisted reproductive technology.
As mentioned, ART only involves treatments where eggs or embryos are handled outside of the body. Sure, that can include sperm, too, but since artificial insemination doesn't involve handling an egg or embryo outside of the body, it is not considered ART. That said, in vitro fertilization is the most common kind of ART, and it involves fertilizing a woman's eggs in the lab, then transferring the resulting embryo into the woman's uterus. The other kinds of ART listed here exist, but they're rarely performed.
The success rate per IVF cycle is 20–30% in this age group.
The success rate is 37% per IVF cycle for women younger than 35, 30% in women 35 to 37, 20% in women 38 to 40, 10% in women 41 to 42, 4% in women 43 to 44, and 1% in women older than 44 — if they are using their own eggs. That said, success rates tend to vary, depending on a few factors, including the clinic performing the procedure and the infertility diagnosis. And success rates are generally higher using donor eggs.
All information used in this quiz comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Check out the CDC's Infertility FAQs page if you're interested in learning more or need resources.