What is Infertility?

Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body's ability to perform the function of reproduction.

Although conceiving a child may seem to be simple and natural, the physiological process is quite complicated and depends on the proper function of many factors such as:

  • Production of healthy eggs by the woman
  • Unblocked Fallopian tubes that allow the sperm to reach the egg
  • The sperm's ability to fertilize the egg
  • The ability of the fertilized egg to become implanted in the uterus
  • Adequate embryo quality

Who is affected by infertility?

Infertility affects approximately 15 percent of couples trying to initiate a pregnancy. In the past, evaluation and treatment focused primarily on the female partner. However, a male factor causes 30 percent of infertility in couples, and a combination of male and female factors causes another 20 percent. In other words, 50 percent of all infertility involves a male factor; however, only 20 percent of men in such couples undergo medical evaluation.

Urologists at Northwestern Medicine offer full medical evaluations and treatment options for male infertility, including conditions such as:

Learn more about Northwestern Medicine Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine here

Related Resources

Patient Questionnaire for Men: The information provided on this questionnaire will help provide a more complete evaluation and will be kept confidential.