Infertility is complex
For a couple to be infertile, the couple must try to conceive without success for more than 12 months. For women more than 35, the window reduces to 6 months. A series of conditions create a successful pregnancy. For instance, the couple must have a healthy supply of eggs and sperm. The eggs and sperm must form a healthy embryo cultured through the fallopian tubes. Failure to meet these factors can cause infertility. In some cases, infertility can even be unexplained. Once this happens, doctors can recommend the best treatment to improve conception.
A dose of fertility
Over the years, fertility drugs have increased the chances of pregnancy. The goal is to stimulate the production of higher quality eggs or sperm. Doctors can assess both partners and provide the best medicine for the scenario. Both men and women should expect side effects. The most common being a chance for multiple births and miscarriages.
Medicine for women
One popular drug is clomiphene citrate, an oral treatment which improves ovulation. Doctors may prescribe this through several cycles with over 20% success rate. Other medications include follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). These are usually provided via injection and sometimes combined with other treatments.
Medicine for men
Men can get help from fertility medicines too. Drugs improve sperm count, increase hormone production and even increase libido. Once doctors assess the fertility issues, the best drug will be provided.
Surgery stops infertility
While medicine treats hormonal issues, surgery helps to treat physical reproductive problems. Blocked fallopian tubes, cysts, fibroids, or endometriosis are common problems needing surgery. Pelvic laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat most reproductive issues. Success rates for pregnancy vary from 20-59% based on the condition treated. Men can also have blockages fixable with surgery. Procedures like varicocelectomy have success in improving sperm count and motility.
Getting a boost with artificial insemination
Sometimes couples need help with getting sperm to travel effectively to fertilize the egg. Artificial insemination (AI) helps by inserting the sperm into the cervix or uterus. The two procedures used are ICI and IUI. ICI inserts sperm into the cervix during ovulation. While IUI takes washed and prepared sperm into the uterus to further improve chances. AI is popular as the procedure is non-invasive and sometimes combined with fertility drugs to increase potency. Studies show the success rate for artificial insemination as high as 40%.
The ART of solving infertility
With assisted reproductive technology (ART), clinics control the conception process outside of the body. A popular form of ART is in vitro fertilization, one of the best treatments around. The goal is to remove eggs and sperm, culture the cells in petri dishes, then reinsert into the woman. IVF has sub-techniques including GIFT, ZIFT, and ICSI-IVF. ART has excellent success rates. Success increases yearly as information and skillset are constantly improving.
Know which is best for you
For couples struggling to get pregnant, a visit to the doctor can make a difference. Doctors assess both parties and the right course of action taken to help produce a bundle of joy. Often doctors may recommend a combination of medicine, AI, and even ART. Taking action early, following doctor guidelines and being patient helps infertility treatments be more successful.