Difference between Sterility and Infertility: Understanding the Contrast

difference between sterility and infertility

Is there any difference between sterility and infertility? In the medical world, these two terms often overlap with each other. However, they possess distinct meanings that delineate crucial differences in the context of fertility. The confusion between sterility and infertility has led many individuals to believe that they are sterile when, in reality, they might have been experiencing infertility. Unravelling this tangled thread and shedding light on the crucial difference between sterility and infertility will help clarify the disparities, causes, diagnostic methods, and treatment avenues. Let’s segregate sterility and infertility and understand them in detail:

What is Sterility?

Sterility is a case where the individual does not possess the ability to conceive and have children, even with medical interventions. It can arise from congenital anomalies, such as being born without ovaries due to surgical procedures like tubal ligation and hysterectomy in women or vasectomy in men. Male sterility means sperm are absent in the semen of other reproductive defects, while female sterility manifests as the absence of ovulation. 

What is Infertility? 

While sterility means the complete absence of essential elements for reproduction, infertility refers to the inability to conceive after twelve months of unprotected intercourse (reduced to six months for women aged 35 or more). Unlike sterility, infertility can stem from various factors affecting either or both partners. It may result from issues such as low sperm count, problems with ovulation, or hormonal imbalances.

Read in Hindi: Infertility Meaning in Hindi – इनफर्टिलिटी क्या है?

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Understanding the Types:

Even though these two terms have been used interchangeably, it doesn’t imply that they carry the same signs. Depending on the severity, sterility and infertility exhibit distinct types. Pay extra attention to these types to know if you are suffering from any of these types:

  • Primary and Secondary Sterility: Primary sterility pertains to couples who have never conceived, while secondary sterility refers to those who’ve had a successful pregnancy but cannot conceive again due to surgical intervention.
  • Primary and Secondary Infertility: Primary infertility denotes couples who have never achieved a full-term pregnancy despite regular unprotected intercourse, while secondary infertility describes those who have had one successful pregnancy but struggle to conceive again.

If you find yourself related to any of these two causes, then it’s time to contact Crysta IVF for a detailed examination. We are here to help you throughout your journey. 

Causes of Infertility and Sterility:

The causes of sterility and infertility in males and females can vary significantly:

Sterility Causes:

  • Hormonal alterations affecting sperm production.
  • Testicular problems are caused by various conditions like trauma or inflammation.
  • Issues with sperm delivery, such as retrograde ejaculation or blockage in the sperm ducts.

Infertility Causes:

  • Hormonal disorders, genetic diseases, and medical conditions affecting sperm count, motility, or quality.
  • Ovulation disorders, structural abnormalities in the uterus or fallopian tubes, and other factors affecting the reproductive system in women.

Also Read: How To Deal With Unexplained Infertility?

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Infertility and Sterility:

Sterility is a case where finding the right treatment is a challenge. Whereas, in the case of infertility, there are possible treatment options available for you. Diagnostic tests for infertility and Sterility are mentioned below:


  • Male fertility tests include semen analysis, hormone testing, genetic testing, and imaging.
  • Female fertility tests encompass ovulation testing, imaging tests, hormone testing, and evaluations like hysterosalpingography.


  • For infertility in both males and females, medications, surgeries to remove blockages, lifestyle modifications, and fertility drugs can be employed.

Advancements in ART for Infertility and Sterility:

When conventional treatments prove ineffective, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) steps in. Techniques like Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) offer hope. IVF involves stimulating ovaries, retrieving eggs, fertilising them with sperm in a lab, and implanting embryos into the uterus.


Conclusion and the Path Ahead:

The distinction between sterility and infertility is crucial yet often misunderstood. While sterility signifies the inability to conceive, advancements in medical science offer avenues to manage infertility. Crysta IVF, the best IVF hospital in Lucknow, is a pioneer in fertility treatments, standing at the forefront of making parenthood dreams come true. Crysta IVF provides comprehensive ART solutions to address diverse fertility challenges. If you seek guidance on your path to parenthood, Crysta IVF offers expertise and support to navigate this journey. Remember, sterility doesn’t preclude the possibility of parenthood. Options like gestational carriers or adoption open alternative paths to fulfill the dream of having a family. For those navigating fertility challenges, seeking guidance, or exploring treatment options, Crysta IVF in Lucknow remains a beacon of hope and expertise.

  Verified by Crysta IVF Fertility Experts

Relaed Blogs:

What are the causes of female infertility?

सेकेंडरी इनफर्टिलिटी क्या है? – Secondary Infertility in Hindi

पुरुष निःसंतानता के क्या कारण हैं? – Reason of Male Infertility in Hindi

Infertility and Reproductive Health Q and A With a Fertility Expert – Dr. Nidhi Sehrawet

Milan Mahapatra

Milan is an enthusiastic content strategist and storyteller with attention to detail. As a Lead Content Writer for Crysta IVF, he creates engaging stories that enlighten and motivate patients as they prepare for fatherhood. Having a thorough awareness of the fertility environment, Milan uses his writing abilities to empower and inform those considering treatment. He is committed to providing factual, engaging, and interesting content that speaks to the audience of Crysta IVF.

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