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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
fertility/infertility treatment (=treatment to help someone who is unable to have children)
▪ Mrs Smith received fertility treatment using donor eggs.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Infertility \In`fer*til"i*ty\, n. [L. infertilitas: cf. F. infertilit['e].] The state or quality of being infertile; unproductiveness; barrenness.

The infertility or noxiousness of the soil.
--Sir M. Hale.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1600, from Late Latin infertilitatem (nominative infertilitas), from infertilis (see infertile).


n. 1 The condition of being infertile; of having poor fertility. 2 The inability to conceive children.


n. the state of being unable to produce offspring; in a woman it is an inability to conceive; in a man it is an inability to impregnate [syn: sterility] [ant: fertility]


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 organism, except notably among certain eusocial species (mostly haplodiploid insects).

In humans, infertility may describe a woman who is unable to conceive as well as being unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. There are many biological and other causes of infertility, including some that medical intervention can treat. Estimates from 1997 suggest that worldwide "between three and seven per cent of all couples or women have an unresolved problem of infertility. Many more couples, however, experience involuntary childlessness for at least one year: estimates range from 12% to 28%." 20-30% of infertility cases are due to male infertility, 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.

Women who are fertile experience a natural period of fertility before and during ovulation, and they are naturally infertile during the rest of the menstrual cycle. Fertility awareness methods are used to discern when these changes occur by tracking changes in cervical mucus or basal body temperature.

Usage examples of "infertility".

It seemed to her that the consequences of her infertility were beginning to spiral into horrendously tragic proportions.

Janine, cherishing her secret joke about their infertility, was not frightened.

As for infertility, there had been few cases of it in the barns that could not be "cured" by two dessertspoonfuls of soda dissolved in a liter of warm water and administered vaginally prior to mating, to neutralize uterine acidity -- and I would have told Anastasia so forthwith, but I had come to learn, not to teach.

Just like the birth control pill had originally been invented for infertility.

And if possible, I would like data on the specific causes of infertility among the women the Women's Clinics treat with VF.

Sage was called herba sacra ('the holy herb') by the Romans and was used by the Ancient Egyptians to cure male infertility and by the Chinese to stimulate both yang and yin energies.

The Genetic and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) Institute, an infertility clinic in Fairfax, Virginia, uses a process that separates the male chromosome from the female chromosome sperm, allowing parents to determine the sex of their baby before it is conceived.