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IVF Treatments That Make Motherhood Possible
Infertility affects 1 in 6 couples in the United States. Male infertility factors, such as low sperm count, contributes to 50% of these cases. Female infertility factors contribute to the other half of these cases. Infertility issues can include:
- A hormone imbalance: this can cause problems with ovulation
- Problems the cervix: such as blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Low sperm count: poor quality sperm can reduce the chances of pregnancy
Thanks to IVF, treatments are now available that can give infertile couples an opportunity to start a family. Although IVF is not always the first choice for couples who are having difficulty conceiving, it is a preferred option for certain different conditions. Three specialized treatments include:
1. Fertility drugs
Fertility drugs are taken in the form of a pill or injection. They release hormones which promote ovulation and egg production. They also prime the uterus for embryo implantation. This type of treatment can be used to help women who do not ovulate regularly or who have a partner with a low sperm count. Between 40% and 50% of women who take fertility drugs become pregnant.
2. In vitro fertilization (IVF)
An IVF cycle involves the extraction of eggs from the mother’s (or a donor’s) ovaries. The eggs are then fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. Once the embryos develop to a viable stage, one or two may be implanted into the mother’s uterus. The rest may be frozen for future cycles. This type of treatment can benefit women over the age of 35 and women who have cervical problems such as blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. The success rate for this treatment varies depending upon age from 23%-32%, with younger women having a greater chance of a successful pregnancy.
3. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
The embryologist takes a single, healthy-looking sperm from the father’s semen sample and injects it directly into the egg. Once the embryo has developed to a viable stage, it can be transferred to the mother’s uterus using IVF. Around 35% of women who undergo ICSI with IVF have a successful pregnancy. This type of treatment allows couples to become pregnant even if the father has a low sperm count.
Women who are looking for fertility testing options or who wish to increase their chances of conception should consider each type of IVF carefully before making a decision. Consult an expert embryologist to find out more information. Contact us to understand more about what fertility options may be available to you.