In general, this is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex. Because fertility in women is known to decline steadily with age, some providers evaluate and treat women aged 35 years or older after 6 months of unprotected sex. Women with these issues should consider making an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist—a doctor who specializes in managing infertility. Reproductive endocrinologists may also be able to help women with recurrent pregnancy loss, defined as having two or more spontaneous miscarriages.

Pregnancy is the result of a process that has many steps.

To get pregnant:

A woman’s body must release an egg from one of her ovariesexternal icon (ovulationexternal icon). A man’s sperm must join with the egg along the way (fertilize). The fertilized egg must go through a fallopian tubeexternal icon toward the uterusexternal icon (womb). The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation). Infertility may result from a problem with any or several of these steps

Impaired fecundity is a condition related to infertility and refers to women who have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.

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