Infertility - male and female

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Infertility is the inability of a couple to conceive a child after a year of unprotected intercourse. According to the American Fertility Society, infertility affects 4.5 (four and a half) million couples of childbearing age in the United States. Approximately 10 to 25 percent of married couples will experience some degree of infertility. Fortunately, more than 50 percent of these couples are successful in achieving a pregnancy following treatment. Twenty-five to 40 percent of cases of infertility are male-related, and 40 to 50 percent are female related. Ten to 15 percent of couples have infertility for which no cause can be found. Basic causes of female infertility are problems with ovulation, the fallopian tubes, or the cervix. Male problems include low sperm count or weak sperm. Treatments for infertility include reconstructive surgery, laser laparoscopy (lah-puh-RAW-skuh-pee), induction of ovulation, and artificial insemination. Advanced reproductive techniques are used when other methods have failed. They include in vitro (VEE-trow) fertilization, embryo transfer, and gamete intrafallopian (in-truh-fal-LOW-pee-an) transfer. These procedures are not suitable for every couple, but have achieved increased success in recent years.

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