Road to fertility

Your guide to trying to conceive, fertility treatments, genetic testing and your path to pregnancy

Infertility vs Sterility: What’s the Difference?

infertility vs sterility

Before seeking fertility treatment, it’s important that you understand the difference when it comes to infertility vs sterility, as we often use them as synonyms – but they aren’t. In this short article, we explain the key differences and discuss the challenges couples face when trying to conceive.

Fertility challenges

Fertilization is the responsibility of an egg and a sperm. It’s amazing how two small cells have such great power: That of creating life. Although sometimes we see it as a simple thing (such as a mere union of two cells), it is the opposite. It’s a very complex process, filled with obstacles, which is why it often takes more time than we would like.

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The process of becoming pregnant is determined by a series of factors that depend on both the man and the woman. Among them is age – a very important factor when it comes to having a child. A woman’s fertility begins to decline at age 30 and the decline accelerates over the next several years. Because of this, the earlier you start trying to become pregnant, the greater your chances of success. However, this doesn’t mean women should lose all hope of having a baby after this age. The field of assisted reproductive technology is rapidly progressing with many new advances in the last decade, which has allowed many women to achieve a pregnancy in their thirties and forties.

Having a child is a challenge, and it’s a decision that will accompany you the rest of your life. Before deciding, you should take the time to thoroughly consider all the options and avoid letting yourself be carried away by social pressures. Sometimes this can be an emotionally difficult process for a couple. For this reason, it’s very important that you support each other and take advantage of all the resources available from doctors, nurses, friends, and family.

Factors that Influence your Fertility

Fertility is the ability to conceive a baby; it results from the interaction of male and female factors. The problem of infertility is more common than you think: It affects 1 in 6 couples of child-bearing age; 40% is due to male factors, 40% is due to female factors, and the remaining 20% is due to mixed factors, or reasons of unknown origin. Those factors can be physical, hormonal, lifestyle, or environmental. Equally, there are numerous factors that can result in sterility in men and women.

Infertility vs Sterility

Before starting your fertility journey, it’s important that you know the difference between the concepts of infertility vs sterility. Frequently, people will use these terms interchangeably – but there are important differences. Sterility is the inability to achieve a pregnancy after a year of trying to have a child (without using contraceptives). In contrast, infertility is the inability to give live birth to a baby. In other words, the woman becomes pregnant, but the baby is not born alive. This is either due to birth defects or complications during pregnancy. Therefore, when it comes to infertility vs sterility, fertility specialists will take varying routes depending on the root of the problem.

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