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How common is infertility?

Infertility is far more common than most people think. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), approximately 7.3 million couples in the United States -- about 12% of the reproductive-age population -- experience fertility problems and have difficulty achieving pregnancy.

About one-third of identifiable causes of infertility are due to male factors and about one-third are caused by female factors. Roughly one-third of infertility is couple-related, with a combination of problems in both partners preventing conception.

An estimated 20% of infertility cases are unexplained; the source of the problem cannot be identified.

Infertility is a very common problem. It is estimated that 1 in 7 couples worldwide suffer from fertility problems. Of those diagnosed with infertility, 1 in 5 will conceive without treatment, and of those who undergo treatment, over half will become pregnant.

Erika Tabke, MSN
Nursing Specialist

Infertility is more common than you might think. Many people keep it to themselves because it is a personal topic; in some cultures, religions and/or families, being infertile is not something that is talked about openly. You probably know more than one couple who is struggling with infertility right now.

According to the CDC, infertility affects about one in eight women, or 12% of adults of childbearing age. It affects men and women equally -- about 40% of the time a couple's infertility is due to male factors, 40% of the time it is due to female factors, and the rest of the time it is either a combination of problems with both partners or it is unexplained.

It's also important to remember that the likelihood of facing infertility problems increases with a woman's age. Women are most fertile before the age of 25; after 25 fertility declines and by age 30, women have only 12% of their ovarian reserve left. By the late 30s, spontaneous conception is much less common, and at age 40 or older, women have a very small likelihood of getting pregnant without assistance.

Infertility is more common than you may think. In the United States, it's estimated that about 6.7% of married couples are considered infertile, meaning they don't get pregnant within the first year of trying. About 20% of the time, infertility is due to problems with a men's sperm. About 40 to 50% of the time, problems with a woman's fallopian tubes or ovulation cause infertility. About 30 to 40% of the time, both partners have problems that contribute to infertility. At least 10% of the time the cause is unknown. Infertility is also more common among older adults, especially in women who are over 35.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.