While many think that infertility makes it impossible for a couple to have a child of their own, there are actually plenty of viable treatments that will help a couple who is trying to conceive. Though a 100% natural pregnancy isn’t always an available option, science has transformed what was once an impossibility into a tangible reality. With so many options of hope available, it’s important to know which one is the best choice for you and your future family based on your body, the infertility issues, and what kinds of treatments you are comfortable with. Keep reading to learn about the treatment options, and decide which one is the best for your particular situation.
Struggling with Infertility? What Type of Treatments Will Help
While it depends on the reason for infertility, one of the first treatments people typically try is to use fertility medications to stimulate ovulation. The most popular medications are Clomiphene, Gonadotropins and Bromocriptine. Clomiphene is designed for women that either have an irregular cycle or simply don’t ovulate. It aids the body in producing more ovulation stimulating hormones, forcing the body to produce mature eggs. Gonadotropins, on the other hand, is the next drug taken if clomiphene doesn’t help the couple to conceive. It comes in two stages in which signals tell the body to produce fertile eggs and then release those eggs. Different from the first two, Bromocriptine is taken if there is a benign tumor on the pituitary gland that reduces natural estrogen levels. While it can take up to a few months to start working, the drug restarts a natural menstrual cycle in the body.
Egg Donor Bank
Using a donor egg is a viable option for several types of women under varying circumstances, but it is a popular choice. Women that suffer from a diminished reserve of eggs might need a donor egg, as well as women who experience the beginning of menopause before they reach age 40. Using a donor egg is also a popular option for women who have genetic diseases that have a high chance of transferring to the child. Using a donor egg will allow the woman to give birth without transferring the disease to the child. Lastly, this is a common choice for women who have previously tried in vitro fertilization without success.
When choosing a donor, you are given the opportunity to peruse the history and medical background of each patron in order to find a match that you are comfortable with. After both donor and recipient receive hormone treatments to force their cycles to match, the donor egg is harvested, fertilized and implanted within the recipient’s womb. Many fertility clinics provide you with the choice between fresh and frozen egg banks depending on whether you plan to get pregnant right away, or would rather wait a while.
Minimal Stimulation IVF
In vitro fertilization is considered an invasive procedure—however, advancements in treatment are making it much less so. It follows the four basic steps of a regular IVF including the stimulation of the ovaries via medicine, retrieval of a mature egg, the fertilization of the egg externally and then placing the fertilized egg back in the womb. Unlike a standard IVF procedure, the ovary stimulation is actually done through oral medication as opposed to numerous injections. Because of this, it costs much less than its counterpart. This type of treatment is typically done for women with damaged fallopian tubes, or those who are partnered with an infertile male find this method to be the most effective.
ZIFT (Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer)
The most invasive of the treatments, this is only suggested to women who are older, or who have severe ovulation problems, so much so that no other method has worked. To begin the process, you take a stimulation drug that causes the ovaries to develop multiple mature eggs coupled with a drug that prevents their release. Your doctor will monitor the maturation of the eggs and then remove them with a needle using the visual guidance of an ultrasound. Like IVF, the egg and sperm are then joined in a dish in a laboratory where doctors can make sure the fertilization begins. One of the eggs is then reinserted in the fallopian tube where it then travels to the uterus and implants itself in the uterus.
No matter the issue, fertilization today is more than just the coupling of a man and woman. Doctors now understand the science behind infertility and have made accessible solutions for couples struggling to conceive. With the help of your doctor, you can determine the underlying issues of your infertility and then decide which treatments will best help you in your quest for a child of your own. By undergoing relatively simplistic procedures, fertilization can occur with a little help from scientific progress.
Image courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net