An increasing number of women in Germany are finding themselves unable to fall pregnant despite wanting children. If a couple are sexually active for 12-18 months without contraception but do not conceive, one speaks of infertility (= childlessness).
The psychological and also the physical strain of this unfulfilled desire over an extended period is frequently underestimated by friends and family. Coupled with this is an uncertainty as to the options available to a woman because an entire branch of gynaecology is now focused wholly on this issue. The forms of medical assistance and technologies available have become confusingly diverse.
Childlessness can have many causes. Amongst these, the age of the woman who wishes to conceive a child can be highly significant. The chances of falling pregnant naturally decline from the age of 35. However, nowadays the average age at which women consider themselves sufficiently experienced and ready for a baby has also risen. Having a first baby after the age of 35 is no longer a rarity today.
In contrast, a man's fertility remains intact for much longer and only starts to decline as he reaches 60 years of age. Despite this, when examining the cause of childlessness it is not possible to consider the woman alone. In 35-40% of cases, infertility can be attributed to the man. In light of the fact that it is very easy to diagnose the man on the basis of a semen analysis, a man's infertility should always be ruled out through semen analysis before examining the woman.