Infertility & Assisted Reproduction

"Infertility" is a term that describes when a couple is unable to achieve pregnancy after 1 year of having regular, unprotected sex, or after 6 months if the woman is older than 35 years of age.

The term "infertility" also is used to describe the condition of women who are able to get pregnant but unable to carry a pregnancy to term because of miscarriage (sometimes called clinical spontaneous abortion), recurrent pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or other problems.

Recurrent pregnancy loss is considered distinct from infertility. Although there may be some overlap, the causes of pregnancy loss, recurrent pregnancy loss, and stillbirth are often different from the causes of infertility.

Infertility, including the inability to carry a pregnancy to term, can deeply affect the emotional and psychological well-being of women and their partners. For most people, reproduction is a basic expectation of life, and to have a child is to continue the human life cycle. Infertility brings with it many real or potential losses: the loss of self-esteem, the loss of a dream, the loss of close relationships, financial losses, and the loss of a sense of self as a healthy sexual being. 

Depression, anxiety, anger, and guilt are common responses to infertility. Group, individual and couples psychotherapy can help provide support during this period and medications can help to manage symptoms.

Additional Resources

Please remember this information is intended for educational purposes only and should not substitute medical advice from a healthcare provider.