Inability to reproduce by natural means / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Infertility is the inability of a person, animal or plant to reproduce by natural means. It is usually not the natural state of a healthy adult, except notably among certain eusocial species (mostly haplodiploid insects). It is the normal state of a human child or other young offspring, because they have not undergone puberty, which is the body's start of reproductive capacity.
|Causes||Common in females: annouvulation, blocked fallopian tube, hormonal imbalance |
Common in males: low sperm count, abnormal sperm morphology
|Frequency||113 million (2015)|
In humans, infertility is the inability to become pregnant after one year of unprotected and regular sexual intercourse involving a male and female partner. There are many causes of infertility, including some that medical intervention can treat. Estimates from 1997 suggest that worldwide about five percent of all heterosexual couples have an unresolved problem with infertility. Many more couples, however, experience involuntary childlessness for at least one year: estimates range from 12% to 28%. The main cause of infertility in humans is age, and an advanced maternal age can raise the probability of suffering a spontaneous abortion during pregnancy.
Male infertility is responsible for 20–30% of infertility cases, while 20–35% are due to female infertility, and 25–40% are due to combined problems in both parts. In 10–20% of cases, no cause is found. The most common cause of female infertility is age, which generally manifests in sparse or absent menstrual periods. Male infertility is most commonly due to deficiencies in the semen, and semen quality is used as a surrogate measure of male fecundity.
Women who are fertile experience a period of fertility before and during ovulation, and are infertile for the rest of the menstrual cycle. Fertility awareness methods are used to discern when these changes occur by tracking changes in cervical mucus or basal body temperature.