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Understanding Infertility

Understanding infertility and what you can do about it

Infertility is a common problem. About 11 percent of U.S. women ages 15 through 44 years have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.*

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infertility FAQs. Page last reviewed June 20, 2013.

Both women and men can have problems that cause infertility. About one-third of infertility cases can be connected to the woman. Another third of the cases of infertility can be connected to the man. In the remainder of instances, a cause can’t be found.

When to ask for help

How long should you try to get pregnant before calling your doctor? Most experts suggest trying for at least 1 year. If you are 35 or older, see your doctor after 6 months of trying. Your chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after you turn 30.

Some health issues also increase the risk of infertility. So women should talk to their doctors if they have:

  • Irregular periods or no menstrual periods
  • Very painful periods
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • More than one miscarriage

    How infertility is treated

    Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, artificial insemination, or assisted reproductive technology (ART). Many times these treatments are combined. In most cases infertility is treated with drugs or surgery.

    Doctors recommend specific infertility treatments based on:

  • Test results
  • How long the couple has been trying to get pregnant
  • The age of both the man and woman
  • The overall health of the partners

  • Read our FAQ on infertility

Predict your success with IVF 

If your doctor is recommending In vitro Fertilization (IVF),  the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology website may help you understand your chances of having a successful IVF cycle, based on your personal situation.

Predict My Success

    Getting started

    You can find out if you have coverage for infertility care. Just call the Member Services number on the back of your insurance card. Member Services also can tell you if you have a specific network of providers who give this care.

    You do not need to register in the National Infertility Unit (NIU) in order to see a physician to determine why you are having trouble getting pregnant, or to start orally medicated, timed intercourse cycles.

    You will need to register in NIU once there is a plan for infertility treatment. This includes ovulation induction with injectable infertility medications, artificial insemination or assisted reproductive technology (ART).

    If you plan to start treatment for infertility and have coverage through Aetna, log in to complete our registration form.

    Complete the form

    Finding an infertility specialist

    If you need help finding an infertility doctor that participates in your plan, search our directory for a reproductive endocrinologist.

    Aetna has an Institute of Excellence (IOE) infertility network, which includes a limited network of providers with outstanding performance. They offer high-quality, high-value infertility care. These providers also can be found by searching our directory. 

    Search our directory now

    Videos on reproductive health and infertility:

    View the infertility overview video

    See descriptions of other videos below.

    Infertility care: Pre-pregnancy health: Learn what you can do before you get pregnant to improve your health and the health of your baby.

    View the infertility care video

    Assisted reproductive technology (ART) clinic report: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an option for treating infertility. Learn how you can compare the success rates of different clinics to find one that is right for you.

    View the ART clinic report video

    How to reduce multiple births when undergoing IVF: One of the ways to increase the chance of having a single healthy baby in IVF treatment, is to electively transfer back in to the uterus only one embryo at a time. This approach is called eSET. It is not recommended for all women undergoing IVF, but is recommended for many women.

    View the multiple-birth reduction video

    Aetna is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Aetna group of subsidiary companies, including Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna).

    This material is for information only.  Health benefits and health insurance plans contain exclusions and limitations.  Information is believed to be accurate as of the production date; however, it is subject to change.

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