Infertility is used in modern literature instead of the word sterility. Sterility is interpreted as the complete lack of ability for conception and pregnancy, while infertility is considered a reduced chance of pregnancy that can be treated by certain medical procedures.
Infertility is defined as the absence of pregnancy after one year of active trying, i.e. sexual relations without the use of contraceptive methods. Contact with a doctor is advised even before the completion of one year of active trying for couples who have some risk factor (irregular menstruation, women over 35 years old, ovarian surgery, radiation or treatment with cytostatics).
The probability that a couple will achieve pregnancy is 20% per menstrual cycle. Large studies have shown that approximately 85% of couples achieve the desired pregnancy within a year, and that the remaining 15% need appropriate medical treatment. Infertility can be primary or secondary.
Primary infertility is when a woman has never been pregnant despite trying for a year.
Secondary infertility means the absence of pregnancy after one year of active trying in women who were previously pregnant.
Causes of infertility
Fertilization itself is quite a complex process and is still not fully explained. According to some rough estimates, in about 30% of cases the cause of infertility is a female factor, in 30% it is a male factor, in 30% it is the cause of both partners and in 10% of couples the cause cannot be found (unexplained infertility).