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What’s the difference between sterility and infertility?

Sterility means that it is impossible for a couple to conceive a child. A diagnosis of sterility is given after a thorough examination concludes that there is no sperm production and ovulation cannot occur.

Infertility means that a couple is not sterile but for some reason has not been able to conceive a child. There are three conditions that need to be met for conception to be possible: sperm must be present, the fallopian tubes must be open, and ovulation must be able to occur. If one or more of these conditions is not met, the couple suffers from “true infertility.” If all three conditions are met but the couple has failed to conceive, the diagnosis is “sub-fertility.”

Once a couple is diagnosed as infertile, Dr. Ramirez will perform tests to determine the cause or causes. Then treatment can begin. Today’s advanced reproductive technology can allow many infertile couples to conceive a child. In extreme cases it is sometimes with the assistance of a third party donor or surrogate.