Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying to conceive. This definition changes to six months if a woman is 35 or older. Women who can get pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant may also be classified as infertile.
As women are waiting longer to have children, infertility is becoming more common. Roughly 20 percent of women in the United States now have their first child after age 35. Approximately one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.
Most cases of female infertility are caused by problems with ovulation. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular or absent menstrual periods. These ovulation problems are often caused by one of two conditions:
Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:
Many things can change a woman's ability to have a baby. In addition to age, other factors include smoking, excess alcohol use, poor diet, stress, excessive athletic training, being overweight or underweight, sexually transmitted infections and other health problems that cause hormonal changes (including PCOS and POI as described above).
Our physicians consult patients regarding the variety of issues surrounding infertility. To provide the specific treatment required to address infertility, we refer our patients to the following specialists: