Debunking the Infertility Diagnosis?

Infertility can be a scary term and a difficult diagnosis to receive, often prompting many questions about the future and what this new information really means.

The medical definition of infertility sheds some light on the true meaning of the term: a difficulty in conceiving. It varies based on the age of the woman attempting to become pregnant — if under 35, she may be diagnosed infertile if not pregnant after 12 months of trying to conceive, and for those over 35 the initial period shortens to 6 months before a possible diagnosis.

Still, this explanation doesn’t address the patient’s main concerns: not when infertility should be diagnosed, but what it means for their future family. Receiving a diagnosis of infertility sounds so final and can be very scary and discouraging for people trying to conceive. Yet many couples who are patients at IRMS with diagnoses of infertility have healthy and uncomplicated pregnancies.

Dr. Serena Chen, Division Director and Partner at IRMS, explains that a better word for this would be “sub-fertility,” meaning there is a diminished capacity to conceive, but not an ability that has been entirely lost. This diagnosis still leaves many opportunities available to conceive and deliver a healthy baby. It may mean reduced chances of conceiving with each attempt, or a longer wait for a pregnancy, but success is still achievable — especially with the most recent innovations in medicine and technology, along with expert specialists, available and ready to help at IRMS.


1 out of every 8 couples in the U.S. will struggle with infertility; it is by no means an uncommon diagnosis, nor a definitive end to your efforts to grow your family. You can further increase your chances at a successful pregnancy by adopting healthy practices such as eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, being active, and seeking the help of a specialist. With the expertise and support available from an IRMS reproductive endocrinologist, we will design a personal strategy to overcome this “sub-fertility” and help you to build your family.

You can reach out to us by calling (973) 322–8286 or completing our contact form.

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