What is fertility
Perhaps the better question is what is INFERTILITY. We will try to answer this question below.
Couples who decide to try to get pregnant are often surprised if they don’t conceive right away. And as months go by with no pregnancy, they may start to worry about whether they’re infertile.
There is often no cause for concern. Only a small proportion of couples get pregnant in their first month or two of trying. People who have no fertility problems actually have only a 20 percent chance of conceiving in any one month. Of all couples who attempt to get pregnant, 57 percent will achieve pregnancy within three months, 75 percent within six months, 90 percent within one year, and 95 percent within two years. So the chances of eventually getting pregnant are reasonably good.
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive within one year despite having unprotected, well timed intercourse. Many doctors also include in this definition women who have conceived but have lost their pregnancies. If you’ve been trying to have a baby for a year with no success, then it’s probably time to ask your doctor about infertility.
If you’re a woman over age 35, many doctors agree that you should talk with your doctor about a fertility evaluation even before a year has passed. That’s partly because older women are more likely to have fertility problems, and partly because they have less time left to pursue treatments if there is a problem. Some doctors recommend that women in this age group should seek help after six months of unsuccessful attempts.
There are also other reasons to get a fertility evaluation before a full year has passed. For example, a couple should probably seek medical advice if either partner has had a sexually transmitted disease (STD), a disease or structural problem with the reproductive organs, or significant exposure to radiation. Any of these factors can cause fertility problems in both men and women. Check out our fertility friend.
For normal fertile couples trying to conceive, the chance of succeeding in any given month is about 20 percent.
- About 57 percent of couples will conceive within three months.
- About 75 percent of couples will conceive within six months.
- About 90 percent of couples will conceive within one year.
Infertility affects men and women almost equally.
In both sexes, fertility declines with age, but age-related fertility problems are far more likely in women. In men, fertility declines after age 50. In women, fertility starts to decline beginning around age 30:
- Among women age 15 to 24, 4 percent have difficulty conceiving.
- Among women age 24 to 34, 13 percent have difficulty conceiving.
- By age 40, 34 percent of women have difficulty conceiving.
- By age 45, 87 percent of women are infertile.