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Infertility vs Sterility: Know the Difference

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Infertility vs Sterility

Infertility and sterility are two completely diverse topics. Most people get confused between these terms and consider them the same but there is a thin line of difference between the two. Most of you who consider yourself sterile are only infertile. You might wonder whether you or your spouse is facing infertility or sterility, to clear this confusion, explore the truth behind these terms and what causes them.

What is Infertility?

Infertility means you cannot conceive with appropriate, timed, and unprotected intercourse for one year. The duration of time is shortened to six months if you are 35 years or more. After a year of unprotected sex, infertility is defined as the inability to conceive. As per the research, approximately 48 million couples live with infertility around the world.

In women, the reasons behind infertility can be endometriosis, thyroid disease, uterine fibroid, pelvic inflammatory syndrome, autoimmune conditions, sexual dysfunction, primary ovarian insufficiency, poor egg quality, congenital absence of your ovaries, or others. Whereas in men the reasons behind infertility are enlarged varicocele in your scrotum, cystic fibrosis, Klinefelter syndrome, low testosterone, sexual dysfunction, undescended testicles, congenital absence of testes, or others.

What are the Types of Infertility?

There are two types of infertility. The first one is primary infertility which means couples who have not become pregnant after 1 year of having unprotected sex. Secondary infertility means couples who have been able to get pregnant at least once, but now are unable.

How is Female Infertility Diagnosed?

First, your female infertility specialist will look into your medical history and then suggest some tests depending on your symptoms and condition. These tests help to determine and diagnose the cause of infertility. A pelvic examination is performed to check the structural problems of the disease. Others are transvaginal ultrasound, blood test, laparoscopy, saline sonohysterogram, hysteroscopy, and more help in identifying problems like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and more.

How is Male Infertility Diagnosed?

Male infertility is diagnosed through semen analysis, blood test, and scrotal ultrasound. Through semen analysis, the sperm count is checked and analyzed. Whereas with the help of blood tests thyroid and other hormone levels are determined and by scrotal ultrasound, varicoceles or other testicular problems are diagnosed.

What are the Treatments for Male and Female infertility?

An infertile couple can conceive with the help of assisted reproductive technology. IVF (in vitro fertilization) involves some steps which also include fertilization of egg and sperm in specific conditions and then the embryo is transferred into your uterus for further growth. To know more about this process, you can connect with the Best IVF hospital in Lucknow.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is also a process through which a single sperm is directly injected into each egg. Whereas in intrauterine insemination, a thin tube is used to place sperm directly into your uterus. This is also known as artificial insemination. Some other Infertility treatments for males are Varicocelectomy, sperm retrieval, Vasoepididymostomy, and more.

Infertile couples have to manage their lifestyle, take advised medications, and follow healthcare plans advised by a fertility specialist for increasing chances of pregnancy. Your fertility specialist may recommend you to have sex more often and closer to the time of ovulation and provide you personalised diet and treatment plan. Not only this, but they also suggest some medications to you and your spouse for enhancing the pregnancy success rate.

Fertility treatments also hold a few complications like ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, multiple pregnancies, unusual bleeding, infection, and more. You can take the advice of your best infertility doctor in Lucknow before undergoing any treatment to improve your chances of pregnancy.

What is Sterility?

Sterility is different from infertility. Sterility means the inability to have a baby because of a medical condition like the removal of any reproductive organ. When someone is sterile, they are medically unable to conceive without the need for assistance. Lack of ovulation in women and abnormality in reproductive organs or absence of sperm in males may be the reason for sterility. You can also experience sterility after the removal of your uterus. It is important to understand that not everyone who is diagnosed as infertile is sterile.

What are the Causes of Sterility?

Both men and women can be diagnosed as sterile. Birth defects or any surgical process like vasectomy, or tubal ligation, may be the cause behind sterility. Any specific birth abnormalities may be the cause of this condition.


The inability to conceive is known as sterility, but the inability to successfully carry a full-term pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby is known as infertility. Both infertility and sterility, are different from each other in several terms. The causes and treatments for both conditions are different. So now, if your concepts are clear and you find them relatable to yourself, do consult your fertility specialist for further advice.

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