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Infertility in women is defined by the inability to get pregnant after regularly having unprotected intercourse for at least one year. After a woman reaches the age of 35, she is considered infertile if she and her partner are unable to get pregnant after six months of trying.
The chances of becoming pregnant decrease significantly after a woman reaches the age of 40. According to the CDC, infertility affects nearly 11 percent of U.S. females of reproductive age.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), 1 in 7 couples (about 14 percent) experience infertility. In these cases, one-third of infertility cases are caused by female factors. Nearly as many cases are due to factors involving both partners, and male factor infertility accounts for roughly 20 percent of cases. Male infertility factors make it necessary for both partners to have fertility testing prior to a woman beginning fertility treatment.
Many women experiencing infertility show no symptoms, other than the inability to conceive. If a woman does show infertility symptoms, they may include:
When to See a Fertility Specialist
ASRM reports that 85 percent of female infertility cases under medical attention are treated with either fertility drugs or surgery. The recommended course of treatment will vary for each woman based on her individual circumstances, including age, duration of infertility, and overall health.
Some treatments for infertility in women include:
Many factors can cause infertility in women, including: