Fertility 101: Fertility fundamentals

What is infertility?

Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by the inability to achieve a pregnancy after a period of unprotected sexual intercourse or a reduced ability to reproduce alone or with a partner.

Fertility interventions are recommended after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse for women or people with ovaries under the age of 35 and after six (6) months of intercourse for women or people with ovaries after the age of 35 or based on medical, sexual, and reproductive history, physical findings and diagnostic testing.

Who has infertility?

In Canada, 1 in 6 adults will be impacted by infertility in their lifetime, including individuals of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Various factors, including age, genetics, health conditions, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors, can cause infertility.

Anyone struggling to conceive on their own or facing challenges with their reproductive health may benefit from accessing fertility care. This includes individuals who have been trying to conceive for a prolonged period of time, couples with a history of miscarriage, people with a known or suspected medical issue affecting their fertility, members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community, and single individuals who may need assisted reproductive technology options to start a family.

On average, in their reproductive years, the chance of conceiving in a given month is about 20-25% for women and people with ovaries.

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Diagnosis & risk factors

Speaking to a medical professional about your reproductive health may be considered by couples or individuals who have been trying to conceive for an extended period without success, or by those with known or suspected fertility issues. Continue learning →

Underlying causes

Learn about the underlying causes of infertility, such as endometriosis, luteal phase defect, male factor, recurrent miscarriage, PCOS, POI, unexplained infertility, secondary infertility, STIs, fibroids, and ovulatory disorders. Continue learning →


Coming soon

Understanding the male reproductive system

The male reproductive system is comprised of various organs and structures, including the testes, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and penis. Here’s what you should know. Continue learning →

Assessment tool

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