Q: What is infertility?

A: Infertility, by definition is the inability to conceive after 1 year of regular unprotected intercourse (6 months, if the woman is of 35 years or more). It does not mean a specific medical disorder, but a combination of various factors. If you are experiencing the same, you need to be evaluated by a fertility specialist, who will also guide you through treatment options.

Q: Is infertility common?

A: It affects 1 in 6 couples of reproductive age. In a populous country like India with a significant percentage of population in the reproductive age group, a large number of couples are facing this issue.

Q: Is it just a women’s problem?

A: This is a myth. Causes of infertility are almost equally divided between male & female. In about 40 % cases, it is male factor, in another 40% it is female factor. In the rest 20% cases, it is either a combination of factors or ‘unexplained’.

Q: How long should I try before seeing my doctor?

A: There is no hard and fast rule here. But if conception has not happened if you have been trying since one year, you need to be evaluated. You need to take this step after 6 months of trying if the woman’s age is 35 or more. If you have any factor known to impact fertility, like endometriosis, you need to see your doctor soon.

Q: What causes infertility in men?

A: Men may experience infertility due to problems with sperm quality or quantity. This may be due to genetic/ hormonal problem, or trauma or infection. It may even be largely due to unknown reasons.

Q: What makes women have infertility?

A: Women may experience infertility due to difficulty with egg production or egg quality, damaged or blocked fallopian tubes or uterine diseases.

Q: Does my lifestyle have any impact on my fertility?

A: Yes. Natural fertility potential is best when general well-being is taken care of. Lack of adequate nutrition, sleep deprivation, lack of physical exercise, smoking, heavy alcohol use, lifestyle disease like diabetes mellitus, all these decrease fertility potential.

Q: Does the position for intercourse affect my chance of conceiving?

A: No, position for vaginal intercourse does not make any difference to chances of conception.

Q: How do I choose a fertility specialist?

A: You need to choose a fertility specialist who has the clinical expertise and skills, makes you feel comfortable, inspires confidence, and has respect for your feelings and opinions.