Most people have heard of in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is one of the most common forms of treatment for infertility. However, there are other options. Here is a rundown of other fertility choices which may be available for some women.
Gonadotrophins are fertility medications which are used for the regulation of a woman’s hormones. These drugs also stimulate the production of mature eggs in an ovulation cycle. Most women take these medications for between 3-6 months before becoming pregnant or try another type of fertility treatment.
- 80% of women taking fertility medications ovulate within the first 3 months of therapy.
- 30-40% of women conceive by the third cycle of treatment.
EASING THE PASSAGE TO PREGNANCY WITH SURGERY
Surgery can help to fix a number of women’s fertility problems. These include removing excess tissue from endometriosis, reopening blocked fallopian tubes, removing fibroids, and also treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Laparoscopy and laparotomy are both used for these types of surgery.
CONCENTRATING ON CONCEPTION: INTRAUTERINE INSEMINATION
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a type of artificial insemination. The procedure involves collecting a sperm sample from the woman’s partner or a sperm donor. The sperm will then be deposited into the woman’s uterus using a catheter.
Some women will also take fertility drugs before the IUI cycle. This means of fertility treatment increases the risk of having twins. IUI can also increase the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). The pregnancy success rate for this treatment is 7-16% per IUI cycle.
SPERM MEETS EGG: INTRACYTOPLASMIC SPERM INJECTION
Often, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is added to an IVF cycle to overcome the issue of male infertility issues or to assist with the fertilization process in situations which might be challenging. During the ICSI procedure, one sperm is injected into an egg. The embryo will then be transferred to the woman’s uterus.
The male partner may have to have sperm drawn from the testicles using a process known as microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (TESE). The success rate of ICSI fertilization is typically around 50-80%. The success rate of a live pregnancy is the same as for couples who use IVF.
TALK TO A SPECIALIST
Couples who are struggling with infertility should discuss the experience with a fertility specialist. This will enable the couple to find out what is causing the problem. Once the source of infertility is diagnosed, the couple can explore fertility treatment options.