In this Article
- Infertility facts*
- What is infertility?
- Is infertility a common problem?
- Is infertility just a woman's problem?
- What causes infertility in men?
- What increases a man's risk of infertility?
- What causes infertility in women?
- What things increase a woman's risk of infertility?
- How does age affect a woman's ability to have children?
- How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors?
- How will doctors find out if a woman and her partner have fertility problems?
- How do doctors treat infertility?
- What medicines are used to treat infertility in women?
- What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
- What is assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
- How often is assisted reproductive technology (ART) successful?
- What are the different types of assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
- Gestational carrier
- For more information
- Infertility FAQs
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Women with no eggs or unhealthy eggs might also want to consider surrogacy. A surrogate is a woman who agrees to become pregnant using the man's sperm and her own egg. The child will be genetically related to the surrogate and the male partner. After birth, the surrogate will give up the baby for adoption by the parents.
Women with ovaries but no uterus may be able to use a gestational carrier. This may also be an option for women who shouldn't become pregnant because of a serious health problem. In this case, a woman uses her own egg. It is fertilized by the man's sperm and the embryo is placed inside the carrier's uterus. The carrier will not be related to the baby and gives him or her to the parents at birth.
Recent research by the Centers for Disease Control showed that ART babies are two to four times more likely to have certain kinds of birth defects. These may include heart and digestive system problems, and cleft (divided into two pieces) lips or palate. Researchers don't know why this happens. The birth defects may not be due to the technology. Other factors, like the age of the parents, may be involved. More research is needed. The risk is relatively low, but parents should consider this when making the decision to use ART.
For more information
National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC) at 1-800-994-9662 or the following organizations:
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Phone Number(s): (888) 463-6332 Internet Address: http://www.fda.gov
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Resource Center Phone Number(s): (800) 762-2264 Internet Address: http://www.acog.org
American Society for Reproductive Medicine Phone Number(s): (205) 978-5000 Internet Address: http://www.asrm.org/
Resolve: The National Infertility Association Phone Number(s): (888) 623-0744 Internet Address: http://www.resolve.org
InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc. Phone Number(s): (703) 379-9178 Internet Address: http://www.inciid.org/
SOURCE: Womenshealth.gov. Infertility. July 16, 2012.
Last Editorial Review: 7/15/2013
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