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Infertility is usually defined as not being able to get pregnant despite trying for one year. A broader view of infertility includes not being able to carry a pregnancy to term and have a baby. Infertility affects about 6.1 million Americans, or 10 percent of the reproductive age population, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Pregnancy is the result of a chain of events. A woman must release an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation). The egg must travel through a fallopian tube toward her uterus (womb). A man's sperm must join with (fertilize) the egg along the way. The fertilized egg must then become attached to the inside of the uterus. While this may seem simple, in fact many things can happen to prevent pregnancy from occurring.
Is Infertility a Woman's Problem?
It is a myth that infertility is always a "woman's problem." About one third of infertility cases are due to problems with the man (male factors) and one third are due to problems with the woman (female factors). Other cases are due to a combination of male and female factors or to unknown causes.
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