Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year of unprotected sex. Women who do not have regular menstrual cycles, or are older than 35 years and have not conceived during a 6-month period of trying, should consider making an appointment with a reproductive/infertility specialist. These doctors may also be able to help women with recurrent pregnancy loss—2 or more spontaneous miscarriages.
Pregnancy is the result of a process that has many steps. To fall pregnant:
- A woman’s body must release an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation)
- A man’s sperm must join with the egg along the way (fertilize)
- The fertilized egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus (womb)
- The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation)
Infertility may result from a problem with any or several of these steps.