Infertility is the inability of a person, animal or plant to reproduce by natural means. It is usually not the natural state of a healthy adult, except notably among certain eusocial species
(mostly haplodiploid insects). In humans, infertility
is the inability to become pregnant after one year of intercourse without contraception involving a male and female partner. There are many causes of infertility, including some that medical intervention can treat. Estimates from 1997 suggest that worldwide about five percent of all heterosexual couples have an unresolved problem with infertility. Many more couples, however, experience involuntary childlessness for at least one year: estimates range from 12% to 28%. Male infertility
is responsible for 20–30% of infertility
cases, while 20–35% are due to female infertility, and 25–40% are due to combined problems in both parts. In 10–20% of cases, no cause is found. The most common cause of female infertility
is ovulatory problems, which generally manifest themselves by sparse or absent menstrual periods. Male infertility
is most commonly due to deficiencies in the semen, and semen quality is used as a surrogate measure of male fecundity.
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