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Infertility is the inability to become pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year. It can be due to problems with one or both individuals.


The main symptom of infertility is not being able to get pregnant.

Women should talk to their doctor if they experience: 

  • Irregular or absent periods

  • Painful periods

  • Endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease

  • Have had multiple miscarriages

  • Have undergone treatment for cancer

Men should talk to their doctor if they experience:

  • Low sperm count or other problems with sperm

  • History of testicular, prostate, or sexual problems

  • Small testicles or swelling in the scrotum

  • Undergone treatment for cancer

  • Family history of infertility

Fertility Testing

Tests for Men

  • Semen Analysis

  • Hormone testing

  • Genetic testing

  • Testicular biopsy

  • Imaging (MRI, ultrasound, vasography)

Tests for Women

  • Ovulation testing

  • Hysterosalpingography – evaluates the uterus and fallopian tubes to check for blockages and other abnormalities

  • Ovarian reserve testing – determines the quantity

  • of the eggs available for ovulation

  • Hormone testing

  • Imaging tests


Some causes of infertility cannot be treated. However, in these cases, couples may still get pregnant through assisted reproductive technology.

Treatments for Men:

  • Lifestyle changes – quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, exercising, losing weight, increasing the frequency of intercourse, etc.

  • Medications to improve sperm count

  • Surgery to remove a sperm blockage

  • Sperm retrieval – sperm is removed from the male and used to impregnate his partner with assisted reproductive techniques

Treatments for Women:

  • Fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI) – sperm are placed directly in the uterus during ovulation

  • Surgery to remove abnormalities

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