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close this bookWhere Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)
close this folderChapter 14: Infertility (When You Are Not Able to Have a Baby)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWhat Is Infertility?
Open this folder and view contentsWhat Causes Infertility?
View the documentDangers at Work or Home That Can Hurt Fertility
View the documentWhat to Do for Infertility
View the documentLosing a Pregnancy (Miscarriage)
View the documentLiving with Infertility
View the documentWorking for Change



¨ When a couple cannot have a baby, it may be because the man, the woman, or both have a fertility problem. It is a problem that few people talk about.

Most men and women assume they will be able to have children. The truth is that about I out of every 10 couples has trouble getting pregnant. Some men and women do not want to have children. But for couples who look forward to having children, infertility can bring sorrow, anger, and disappointment.

Often it is the woman who is blamed if a couple does not have children. But about half the time, it is the man who is infertile. Sometimes a man will not believe it is his problem, or that it may be a shared problem. He may refuse to go for an examination, or he may react with anger. Most often this is because infertility causes shame in communities where a man is expected to produce children as a sign of his manhood.

Infertility has many causes. Some of them can be treated and some cannot. This chapter will help you understand infertility and what you can do about it.