Reproductive Health Information
What is Infertility?
Infertility has been defined as "the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse." Infertility is diagnosed more often than you may think with approximately 15 percent or one in seven couples experiencing infertility. Contrary to popular myth, infertility is not a sexual or mental problem - rather, it is a medical disorder. This medical condition can frequently be treated; however, infertility is often a complex issue, as many factors in both a man and/or a woman can contribute to it.
The good news is that diagnosis and treatment of infertility has advanced rapidly in the past several decades. Success in treating infertility is increasing, and researchers continue to develop new treatment options. In this day and age, infertility is no longer a secret to be closely guarded.
When should you see a fertility specialist?
If you've experienced the following events, it may be time for you to schedule an appointment with an infertility specialist:
- If you are under 35 and have been unable to conceive after a year of trying to get pregnant.
- If you are over 35 and have been unable to conceive after 6 months of trying to get pregnant.
- When you've lost two or more pregnancies to miscarriage.
- When other infertility treatments have not been successful.
If you do not have regular menstrual cycles, or if you have had prior gynecological problems including endometriosis, pelvic surgery, tubal pregnancy or infections, you should seek assistance sooner.
Read more about infertility in our Health Encyclopedia.
For more information, see the online Q & A Sessions.
Need an appointment? Request one online 24 hours/day, 7 days/week or call 800-789-PENN (7366) to speak to a referral counselor.