Infertility treatments can seem complicated and intimidating, but in reality many of the techniques used to improve the chances of a successful pregnancy are quite simple. In order to reduce stress, which can hinder the efficacy of fertility treatments, it is important that patients learn as much as possible about the causes of infertility and the types of fertility treatment available.
Infertility treatments fall into several categories:
This method of infertility treatment involves the injection of sperm into the female reproductive tract in order to facilitate fertilization. Artificial insemination may also require the use of infertility drugs. Artificial insemination procedures include:
- Intracervical Insemination (ICI)
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Assisted Reproductive Technology
These infertility treatments involve the removal and re-implantation of ova from female patients in order to facilitate fertilization. There are several types of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) fertility treatments, including
- Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- Laser-Assisted Hatching
- Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
The choice to undergo infertility treatment with donor eggs can be very emotional and personal. In general, couples choose IVF with donor eggs if they have had multiple failed attempts to conceive through infertility treatments. Women may choose this treatment because they have certain infertility problems, including ovulation disorders, damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, egg abnormalities or inability to produce eggs, age-related reduction in fertility, premature menopause, endometriosis.
This approach involves the administration of infertility drugs in order to induce ovulation. Fertility treatment with ovulation induction is especially helpful for women who have irregular menstrual cycles. Fertility drugs are also the first step of most assisted reproductive technology cycles.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a procedure in which fertility specialists screen potential embryos for genetic diseases or to allow couples to choose the sex of their baby. The procedure requires the couple to undergo IVF; once the sperm has fertilized the eggs, the embryos can be examined.
Depending on the cause of the infertility, treatment will vary. For example, male infertility treatment will differ depending on the specific fertility problem. Male fertility treatments may or may not be surgical. Anatomical defects causing male infertility can be corrected by a vasoepididymostomy or a varicocelectomy. Both surgeries are effective infertility treatments for repairing physical flaws that inhibit male fertility. Female infertility treatment may include surgery to correct structural causes of infertility including uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and tubal obstruction.
Sperm Treatment Procedures
Male fertility treatment for a low sperm count or low sperm motility may include sperm retrieval and sperm preparation methods. Fertility patients can also use sperm sorting procedures to increase the chances of having a boy or girl. Fertility treatments for sperm include:
- Sperm Donation
- Sperm Preparation
- Sperm Retrieval
- Sperm Sorting
Some women are unable to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term due to infertility problems. A surrogate can be used to carry the couple's baby. In some cases, the surrogates own eggs are used; for some couples, the female's embryos can be transferred to the surrogate.
Find a Fertility Clinic
To determine the best fertility treatments for your specific circumstances, you should consult with a qualified physician. DocShop makes it easy for you to find a fertility clinic in your city.