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Infertility Investigation

  • There are strict definitions of infertility used by many doctors. However, there are also similar terms, e.g. subfertility for a more benign condition and fecundity for the natural improbability to conceive.

    Infertility in a couple can be due to either the woman or the man, not necessarily both.

    Reproductive endocrinologists, the doctors specializing in infertility, consider a couple to be infertile if: The couple has not conceived after 12 months of contraceptive-free intercourse if the female is under the age of 34. 12 months is the lower reference limit for Time to Pregnancy (TTP) by the World Health Organization. The couple has not conceived after 6 months of contraceptive-free intercourse if the female is over the age of 35 (declining egg quality of females over the age of 35 account for the age-based discrepancy as when to seek medical intervention). The female is incapable of carrying a pregnancy to term.


    A couple that has tried unsuccessfully to have a child for a year or more is said to be subfertile meaning less fertile than a typical couple. The couple's fecundability rate is approximately 3-5%. Many of its causes are the same as those of infertility. Such causes could be endometriosis, or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

    Primary vs. secondary infertility

    Couples with primary infertility have never been able to conceive, while, on the other hand, secondary infertility is in difficulty conceiving after already having conceived (and either carried the pregnancy to term, or had a miscarriage). Technically, secondary infertility is not present if there has been a change of partners.

    What are the common causes for Infertility?

    Common causes of infertility:

    * Ovulation problems

    * tubal age

    * male associated infertility

    * age-related factors

    * uterine problems

    * previous tubal ligation

    * previous vasectomy

    * unexplained infertility