Sterility and infertility are two human fertility disorders which produce the same result: a permanent or temporary inability to procreate and produce a new live human being. Given that the result is the same, the two terms are often used as synonyms, when in fact they are not the same.
What is sterility?
We talk about sterility when after a year of having regular sexual relations without using any form of contraceptive, the woman is unable to fall pregnant. Two types of sterility can be distinguished:
- Primary sterility: this is attributed to couples who have never managed to become pregnant.
- Secondary sterility: this refers to couples who have been pregnant at one time, whether the pregnancy culminated in a live birth or was terminated.
What is infertility?
Infertility can be defined as the inability, after becoming pregnant, of carrying a pregnancy to full term, and miscarrying.
As with sterility there are two types:
- Primary infertility: women who have never managed to carry a pregnancy through to a live birth are classed as having this type of infertility.
- Secondary infertility: this is attributed to women who, following a normal pregnancy and birth, do not manage to carry a subsequent pregnancy to full term.