According to the American Academy of Reproductive Medicine infertility is "a disease of the reproductive system that impairs one of the body's most basic functions: the conception of children." Usually a couple (or a woman) is defined as infertile after a year of unprotected sex that does not result in a pregnancy. Roughly one-third of infertility can be traced to a problem with the woman and one-third can be traced to a problem with a man; the rest of the time the problem is due to both partners or no problem can be found.
There are many different causes for infertility among both men and women. This site explores various causes as well as treatments that have helped many people start or grow their family:Medicinenet.com: Infertility Causes, Diagnosis, and Fertility Treatment
If you've already had a child and are experiencing trouble conceiving a subsequent baby - what's known as secondary infertility - read this article from RESOLVE:Secondary Infertility
Infertility is not uncommon, and one or both partners may feel embarrassed, angry, guilty, or frustrated. That's normal. But it's not good to struggle alone with this problem; research has shown that dealing with long-term infertility can be as stressful as having cancer for some, and it can put untold emotional strain on a relationship. Here are some sources for help and support from others who are going through what you are, or have:WebMD: Getting Pregnant Message BoardsFacebook: A Community for InfertilityFertilityties.com
About.com: Infertility Myths and Facts on Fertility
- "Infertility is a female problem."
- "If I'm getting my period I can get pregnant."
- "Stress causes infertility."
- "Most infertility problems are permanent."