According to CDC, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year– or longer, of unprotected sex. People with infertility try to conceive with appropriate, timed and unprotected intercourse for twelve months without success.
If the woman is 35 years or older, the duration of the time is shortened to 6 months. Other causes that may shorten the time are anovulation (female partner is not ovulating), male factor (low sperm count/motility) or the need for donor sperm.
Infertility is extremely common, and once the root cause for infertility is diagnosed and treated, most couples can conceive successfully. Unlike sterility, infertility is not always the direct result of a medical procedure or condition.
Infertility and sterility sometimes link or co-exist but they are not the same, necessarily. For instance, a woman that has gone through hysterectomy is considered sterile, thus the woman is infertile. In contrast, a woman may not have infertility issues – but if her male partner is sterile, the couple would suffer from infertility.