Female Infertility

This information is useful for adults
A couple sits and thinks on a park bench.
Why Yale Medicine?
  • We are pioneers—in research and clinical practice—in the field of reproductive medicine.
  • We offer comprehensive, proven services for both female and male infertility.
  • Our clinicians are experts at managing complicated conditions and making dreams come true.

At Yale Medicine Fertility Center, we abide by a closely held philosophy: our patient’s dream is our dream, too. We are physicians, specialized staff and scientists who have dedicated our life's work to improving our patients’ chances at conceiving.

“We offer the breadth and depth of fertility services comparable to that any state of the art private practice offers, and more," says Yale Medicine's Lubna Pal, MD, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine. “Our physicians, are not only experts in the art of medicine, but also in reproductive biology sciences. Our breadth and depth of experience ranges from successfully helping thousands of patients and couples with common fertility problems to managing the most complicated patients, such as a woman with a heart defect or who has had a kidney transplant or someone with a bleeding disorder, conditions where both fertility related medical treatment as well as procedure of egg collection can be challenging."

Using the latest research and fertility science, our goal is to maximize our patient’s chances of successful pregnancy in the shortest possible time and with utmost attention to the wellbeing of our patients and their future generation. We offer a comprehensive range of services for both female-factor and male-factor infertility, for women and men seeking fertility preservation in the setting of an illness that could potentially harm their ability to conceive in the future, for single women and men, same gender couples interested in family building to transgender individuals seeking fertility preservation. 

"Fertility is a team sport. There are two players and there is a playing field. If the team (couple) has not succeeding in the achieving the goal (i.e., pregnancy) despite trying over a one year, the couple/patient meets criteria for infertility. Underlying mechanism/s contributing to a couple’s infertility can lie with the woman (female factor) or the man (male factor); it is not uncommon that both partners may have factors that are contributing to their infertility.

Infertility is a common problem, affecting 10 to 15 percent of women in the United States. In two thirds of the cases, the cause of infertility may be with the female partner (such as ovulation problems, blocked tubes, common gynecological conditions such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis), whereas in about one-third of the cases, male factors (few sperm, slow sperm, abnormal sperm or no sperm) may be contributory in addition to female factors, Dr. Pal estimates.

"I really believe that primary health care providers (pediatricians, primary care, obstetrician-gynecologists) must utilize every opportunity to engage reproductive age women in discussing and counseling on aspects of reproductive wellbeing" Dr. Pal says. "By the time patients get to a specialist, it can be too late. We want women to know that aging is a part of healthy existence, and not a disease." 

However, medical professionals must do a better job in conveying the relevance of reproductive aging for pregnancy success, Dr. Pal says. "Women in their mid-30s should preemptively be asking their providers about this topic. Give them a timeline," she says. "There is no need to wait six months before seeking input from a fertility specialist for those with concerns such as irregular menstrual cycles, a history of sexually transmitted infection, uterine fibroids or endometriosis, or those who have had trouble conceiving in a prior relationship." 

For women 35 or older, fertility evaluation is warranted after six months of trying to conceive as timing is of the essence in situations of advancing age of the female partner, Dr. Pal says.