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


For Immediate Release:
Saturday, October 14, 2023 8:00 AM CT

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.

For almost a century, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has been the global leader in multidisciplinary reproductive medicine research, ethical practice, and education. ASRM impacts reproductive care and science worldwide by creating funding opportunities for advancing reproduction research and discovery, by providing evidence-based education and public health information, and by advocating for reproductive health care professionals and the patients they serve. With members in more than 100 countries, the Society is headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional operations in Birmingham, AL. www.asrm.org 

For media inquiries regarding this press release contact:

Sean Tipton
ASRM Chief Advocacy and Policy Officer
E: stipton@asrm.org

Anna Hovey
Advocacy Engagement Specialist
E: ahovey@asrm.org 

J. Benjamin Younger Office of Public Affairs 
726 7th St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
Tel: (202) 863-2494

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