New Definition Of “Infertility”


ASRM Publishes a New, More Inclusive, Definition Of “Infertility”

Washington, DC – Today, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Practice Committee issued a new definition of “infertility” as follows:

“Infertility” is a disease, condition, or status characterized by any of the following:

  • The inability to achieve a successful pregnancy based on a patient’s medical, sexual, and reproductive history, age, physical findings, diagnostic testing, or any combination of those factors.
  • The need for medical intervention, including, but not limited to, the use of donor gametes or donor embryos in order to achieve a successful pregnancy either as an individual or with a partner.
  • In patients having regular, unprotected intercourse and without any known etiology for either partner suggestive of impaired reproductive ability, evaluation should be initiated at 12 months when the female partner is under 35 years of age and at six months when the female partner is 35 years of age or older.

Nothing in this definition shall be used to deny or delay treatment to any individual, regardless of relationship status or sexual orientation.

Built upon the clinical reality of the disease of infertility, this definition also reflects the fact that challenges in reproduction can have a myriad of causes, all of which deserve to be taken seriously and treated.

ASRM has a longstanding tradition of data-driven, clinically sound positions. This definition builds on that while also responding to the needs of a diverse patient population. This new and inclusive definition is driven by the clinical needs of patients who come from different places and with different treatment needs.

“This revised definition reflects that all persons, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, deserve equal access to reproductive medicine. This inclusive definition helps ensure that anyone seeking to build a family has equitable access to infertility treatment and care,” said Jared Robins, MD, ASRM CEO.  “I thank the Practice Committee, our Board, and other ASRM leaders and staff for diligently and deliberately establishing a definition of infertility that acknowledges the reality of all seeking infertility care. We look forward to working with our members, policymakers, and others to normalize this definition,”

Having been approved by the ASRM Board of Directors, this definition will be published as a report of the Practice Committee in the society’s flagship journal Fertility and Sterility.