Sterility and Infertility
Although both of these human fertility disorders lead to a temporary or permanent inability to conceive, they are slightly different.
What does sterility mean?
Sterility is the inability to conceive naturally after one year of unprotected sex; this time is reduced to six months for women aged 35 and over. Primary sterility occurs when a couple has never had a child before, while secondary sterility refers to the inhability of conceiving another child after one or many previous pregnancies.
What does infertility mean?
Infertility refers to unsuccesful pregnancies, when miscarriage takes place before a pregnancy gets to term. It is considered primary infertility when there is no previous offspring, or secondary infertility when a couple has children, either with their actual or previous partners.
When to see a specialist
You should book a consultation if you have not got pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex. If you are 35 or older, it is recommended you see a specialist after 6 months.
These time frames are orientative only: in cases of known cause of reduced fertility (such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, altered sperm, family history of early menopause onset…) a consultation should be arranged immediately.
What is a basic study of sterility based on?
A basic sterility study is based on a series of tests to rule out the main causes of infertility.
These tests are done on both men and women.