What Is Female Infertility

There is no unanimous definition of female infertility, but NICE guidelines state that: "A woman of reproductive age who has not conceived after 1 year of unprotected vaginal sexual intercourse, in the absence of any known cause of infertility, should be offered further clinical assessment and investigation along with her partner." It is recommended that a consultation with a fertility specialist should be made earlier if the woman is aged 36 years or over, or there is a known clinical cause of infertility or a history of predisposing factors for infertility.

Infertility primarily refers to the biological inability of a person to contribute to conception. Infertility may also refer to the state of a woman who is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. There are many biological causes of infertility, including some that medical intervention can treat. Infertility has increased by 4 percent since the 1980s, mostly from problems with fecundity due to an increase in age. About 40 percent of the issues involved with infertility are due to the man, another 40 percent due to the woman, and 20 percent result from complications with both partners. Women who are fertile experience a natural period of fertility before and during ovulation, and they are naturally infertile during 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.