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Infertility and Fertility

“Infertility” is a term used to describe the inability of a couple to get pregnant or the inability of a woman to carry a pregnancy to term.

Infertility is defined clinically as not being able to achieve pregnancy after 1 year of having regular, unprotected intercourse, or after 6 months if the woman is older than 35 years of age.

Many different medical conditions and other factors can contribute to fertility problems, and an individual case may have a single cause, several causes, or—in some cases—no identifiable cause.

NICHD scientists and others supported by the Institute are conducting research to identify both the causes of infertility and new treatments that may allow more men and women to achieve pregnancy and more women to deliver a live-born infant.

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