Infertility is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the inability to conceive a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. It could be argued that the inability to successfully carry a pregnancy should be included in the definition.
It is important to remember that you are not alone. 1 in 6 Irish couples experience difficulties conceiving. Infertility doesn’t mean that a baby cannot be conceived. It simply means that there are challenges to be overcome.
Fortunately, in most cases a couple will go onto have a baby most likely with the help of assisted reproductive technology.
- What is secondary infertility?
Secondary infertility refers to couples that have been able to get pregnant at least once, but are experiencing delays in getting pregnant a second time.
- Is infertility a male or female issue?
Infertility is weighted equally between men and women. In other words, there is a 40% chance of it being a male and 40% chance of it being a female problem. The remaining 20% is considered to be unexplained infertility – it may be a combination of male and female issues that lead to problems getting pregnant.
To achieve a successful pregnancy, there are several prerequisites: good quality eggs and sperm, an open fallopian tube and a receptive lining of the uterus. A problem with any of these factors will reduce fertility and may cause infertility.
- It is recommended that if you under 35, then you should get help if you haven’t conceived within one year.
- If you are 35 or over, you should get help, if you haven’t conceived within six months.
- Is Age An Issue When It Comes To Getting Pregnant?
The number one factor affecting a couple’s chance of conceiving is the woman’s age. The normal expected chance of conception in a 25-year-old couple is approximately 20% in any one month – this chance decreases with age. After a woman’s age, male related fertility problems are the second most common cause of a couple’s infertility.
- Causes of infertility
The normal expected chance of conception in a 25-year-old couple is approximately 20% in any one month – this chance decreases with age. After a woman’s age, male related fertility problems are the second most common cause of a couple’s infertility.
Causes Of Infertility Include:
- A woman's age
- Male (sperm) factor
- Ovulation disorders
- Tubal disease
- Anatomical factors such as fibroids and other uterine abnormalities
- Factors such as antibodies to sperm may also reduce the ability to conceive
- Combination of male and female factors
In some couples no cause for infertility can be found. This is called unexplained infertility.