What is fertility treatment? Do we need it?
When someone or a couple is unable to conceive naturally, medical intervention can help. This fertility treatment can range from medication to advanced options commonly known as Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Each type of fertility treatment increases the success rate of pregnancy to different degrees. A doctor will suggest moving to ART options in specific cases.
There is a clear fertility issue
Couples struggling to get pregnant often benefit from hormone medication, supplements, or simple lifestyle changes. However, there are times where a hopeful parent should go straight to advanced options. For instance, some men produce no sperm, known as azoospermia. In addition, some women can have damaged fallopian tubes, PID, or damaged ovaries. In these situations, advanced treatment will be more effective to help match both partners’ needs.
Cycles of IUI have failed
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the first and simplest forms of reproductive treatment available. With IUI, a doctor takes a washed sperm sample to insert into the woman with a catheter. IUI bypasses the vagina, improving the chances of sperm reaching the egg. If several cycles of IUI fail, more advanced treatments can help.
Age is more than a number
With age, the success rate for fertility decreases significantly for both women and men. The decline happens particularly from age 35 and beyond. At age 40, there is about a 5% rate of pregnancy. In these cases, ART options can improve the chances of pregnancy.
Genetics are a concern
Some couples want to get pregnant but are concerned about the baby’s genetic future. For example, the parent might have a genetic condition that’s transferable to the child. In some cases, a genetic concern can also cause multiple miscarriages. Going straight to advanced fertility options can identify issues via genetic screening and use the best sample available.
Here are your ART options
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common ART technique. IVF involves stimulating and retrieving multiple mature eggs to fertilize with sperm in a lab. The resulting embryo is implanted in the uterus a few days after complete fertilization. In most cases, the embryo is frozen for future use. More advanced features include Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). A single healthy sperm is injected into a mature egg. Specialists use ICSI when there is poor semen quality or quantity or prior IVF fertilization attempts failed. Other techniques include assisted hatching, which helps implant the embryo by opening the outer covering of the embryo, ZIFT, and GIFT.
Make the right decision today
Getting fertility treatment gives lots of budding parents hope. Even simple steps like hormone medication and IUI can help. Yet, there are occasions where advanced options are necessary. Yes, these options can be expensive and time-consuming. However, the chances of success are much higher. So, if having a child is in the cards, seek advanced treatments as soon as possible.