Among medical experts, involuntary childlessness is usually referred to as infertility or sterility. A couple is considered to be infertile if they have not been able to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. In Western civilised nations, involuntary childlessness is becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence. In Germany alone, one in six couples remain childless after 12 months of trying for a baby. This means that there are approximately two million couples in Germany who are involuntarily childless. There has been a clear increase in the number of childless couples recorded, a trend that is likely to be due, at least in part, to social change. Nowadays, people tend to complete their vocational training or university degree before then spending a certain amount of time on gaining professional experience. For many couples, family planning only starts once these steps have been completed.
Should you decide to consult a specialist, we would recommend that you do so as a couple. Be open with your partner, and discuss your concerns and fears. This is the best way to avoid conflict and misunderstanding. Alternatively, you could book an appointment to discuss your situation with a doctor of your choice. We would urge you to remember that your partner needs your support too, that you should not blame each other for your current childlessness, and that life is about more than "getting pregnant".
The possible causes of involuntary childlessness are many and varied. Problems involving only the female and problems involving only the male both account for approximately 30-40% of cases each. In approximately 15-30% of cases, both partners are affected by problems. In 5-10% of cases, the cause of infertility will remain unknown, even after thorough investigation.