IVF is one of the most popular fertility treatment options. The treatment has a high success rate. However, IVF can be more costly and invasive than other methods. During IVF, eggs are taken from the ovaries and fertilized in a lab setting. The resulting embryo is implanted into the female partner’s or a surrogate’s uterus. While IVF is an excellent choice for many couples, there are many other fertility treatments to consider.
Medications and IUI
A lower-cost fertility treatment option can be used for women with ovulation problems. Women can take oral medications intended to induce ovulation. These drugs can be coordinated with timed intercourse or used with intrauterine insemination (IUI). In IUI procedures, sperm is placed in the female partner’s uterus to increase the chances of conception. The option is often used in cases of unexplained fertility or for women with cervical mucus problems.
Treatments for male factor infertility
When men have problems with sperm quality or quantity, couples may opt for sperm retrieval techniques. One of these is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). With ICSI, a single sperm is injected into the egg for fertilization. This can often boost a couple’s chances of pregnancy significantly.
Are donors needed?
If there are problems with either partner’s eggs or sperm, a couple may consider donor eggs or sperm. These donations can come from known or anonymous donors. Donor eggs and sperm do not need to be reserved for use with IVF. Rather, in some cases, couples may opt for less expensive options like IUI.
Just like donor eggs and sperm, gestational carriers may be helpful in cases where the female partner does not have a healthy uterus or cannot get pregnant for health reasons. When couples opt for a gestational carrier, the couple’s embryo is implanted into a carrier for pregnancy. This can be done in conjunction with IVF or IUI.
One less commonly known assisted reproductive technology (ART) is assisted hatching. In this technique, experts help the embryo implantation by opening the covering of the embryo. This can lead to higher pregnancy rates for some patients, especially if IVF has been unsuccessful in the past.
Learn more about your options
Couples exploring fertility treatment options should know that there is more to choose from than just IVF. For more information about infertility testing and treatments, speak with a fertility specialist.
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