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Understanding infertility

Understanding infertility and what you can do about it

Infertility is a common problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10 percent of U.S. women ages 15 through 44 years have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.1

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.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Found at Page last updated August 30, 2018.

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 you 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 prescription 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 medicines, 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.

Log in to to complete the form

Finding an infertility specialist

If you need help finding infertility doctor that participates in your plan, use our provider search tool to find 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. You can also find these providers by using our provider search tool. 

Check with your plan to confirm if you need to use an IOE for infertility services. 

Use our provider search tool now

IOE Infertility Facility Listing

Resources for our members

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers informational videos on several topics:

Preparing for a healthy pregnancy (video)

Single embryo transfer (video)Using the CDC Assisted Reproductive Technology clinic report (video)

"The clinics we select meet high medical standards and have a demonstrated record of successful treatment outcomes. Women have access to doctors and clinics that can improve their chances for healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

Joanne Armstrong, MD, Senior Medical Director and Clinical Head of Women’s Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reproductive Health. Page last updated April 18, 2018.

Health benefits and health insurance plans are offered, underwritten and/or administered by Aetna Health Inc., Aetna Health of California Inc., Aetna Health Insurance Company of New York, Aetna Health Insurance Company and/or Aetna Life Insurance Company (Aetna).  In Florida, by Aetna Health Inc. and/or Aetna Life Insurance Company.  In Maryland, by Aetna Health Inc., 151 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06156.  Each insurer has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

For general health information only. Information is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a physician or other health care professional. Health benefits and health insurance plans contain exclusions and limitations. Not all services are covered. See plan documents for a complete description of benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Providers are independent contractors and are not agents of Aetna. Provider participation may change without notice. Aetna does not provide care or guarantee access to health services. Information is believed to be accurate as of the production date; however, it is subject to change.

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