Introduction to Infertility

“Of all nature’s gifts to the human race, what is sweeter to a man than his children?” Marcus Tullius Cicero


Infertility, whether male or female, is defined as the inability of a couple to achieve conception or bring a pregnancy to term after a year or more of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse. According to WHO, between 2 and 10% of couples worldwide are unable to conceive a child and a further of 10-25% experience secondary Infertility i.e. are unable to conceive a second or subsequent child. About 15% of couples of childbearing age seek medical help for infertility, usually after about two years of failing to conceive. Among these couples, infertility is exclusively a problem in the female in about 30-40% of cases, exclusively in the men in about 10-30% of cases. In 15-30% of cases, both partners have detectable abnormalities. After thorough medical examinations, the causes of infertility remain unexplained in 5-10% of couples. WHO believes that around 60-80 million couples in the world are infertile.

Becoming pregnant is not that easy even for people who do not have fertility problems, human being is one of the least fertile creature on earth. There is only a fairly short time within the menstrual cycle when conception is possible, making the chances of conception only 25% each month. It is estimated that 10% of normally fertile couple fail to conceive within their first year of attempt and 5% after two years.

Coping with infertility

Infertility is a crisis of the deepest kind. It threatens many aspects of a couple’s life- not only the partners relationship to each other, but it also effects them individually and their relationship with friends and family.

Infertility therapy is now highly successful, with pregnancy rates obtained with most treatment comparable to natural pregnancy rates. For those couples who do not become pregnant after several treatment cycles, the decision to continue treatment is made depending on their individual wishes and needs in consultation with medical experts.

Management of infertility includes both the physical and emotional care of couple. Therefore, support from physicians, nurses and all people involved in treating the infertile couple is essential to help them to cope with the various aspects of their condition. Counseling and contact with other infertile couple is essential to help them to cope with the various aspects of their condition. Counseling and contact with other infertile couples and patients association provides much needed help outside the medical environment.


Stats and facts

  • Infertility affects about 10 percent of the reproductive age population.
  • Twenty-five percent of infertile couples have more than one factor that contributes to thier infertility.
  • In approximately 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility.
  • Irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for approximately 25 percent of all female infertility problems.
  • Most infertile cases 85% to 90% can be treated with conventional medical therapies such as medication or surgery.
  • While vital for some patients, in vitro fertilization and similar treatments accounts for less than 5 percent of infertility services.
  • Twelve percent of all infertility cases are a result of woman either weighing to little or too much.
  • It is possible for women with body weight disorders to reverse their infertility by attaining and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Men and women who smoke have decreased fertility.
  • The risk for spontaneous abortion is higher for pregnant women who smoke.
  • Up to 13 percent of female infertility is caused by cigarette smoking.