Overcoming Fertility Issues With Treatment
Couples trying to get pregnant without success can find the process stressful and emotionally draining. This circumstance is quite common, with 1 in 8 couples struggling to conceive. Those figures translate to 6.7 million in the US and about 48.5 million around the globe. There is a range of treatment options like fertility drugs, but the medication is not for everyone.
When to get a consult about infertility?
Infertility occurs when a couple is unable to get pregnant after trying to conceive naturally. To determine the specific cause of infertility, a reproductive specialist will review medications, health history, and sexual history. Both parties will also have to go through a physical exam. For men, the exam includes sperm analysis and hormone health. Women will have a pelvic exam, blood tests, and ultrasound of reproductive organs. If there are clear markers or a clear physical issue, the doctor will confirm infertility. In some cases, around 5-15%, the results are normal, making infertility unexplained.
Boost your chances with fertility drugs
With an infertility diagnosis, explained or not, fertility drugs are one of the primary forms of treatment. These medicines will help the body produce more hormones that can trigger or regulate ovulation. The most common is clomiphene citrate, but patients can also get FSH, hCG, and GnRH drugs. Fertility drugs may also be used along with other methods, such as IUI, to increase further the chances of conceiving. Fertility drugs signal the pituitary gland and hypothalamus to release hormones that trigger the ovaries to produce egg cells. The drug can help create more hormones for better sperm production for men.
Who is a good candidate for fertility drugs?
Both men and women can take fertility medication, but the treatment is not for everyone. A reproductive specialist will prescribe the drugs in some instances:
- Patients under 35 who have not tried fertility treatment before.
- Candidates for assisted reproductive technology like IVF.
- Patients with apparent hormonal or ovulation problems.
- Men with low sperm count, morphology, or motility.
- Women with healthy ovaries but poor egg production or maturation.
Women with fibroids or cysts should not use hormone medication. For patients over 35, fertility drugs can help but can be coupled with IUI or IVF. Some drugs have live birth rates as high as 32% and as low as 18%.
Other helpful treatment options for infertility
Fertility drugs are just one of several helpful techniques to improve the chances of pregnancy. For men, the treatment includes counseling, antibiotics, medication, and surgery if there’s a problem with the organ. On the other hand, women may also benefit from surgery based on the issue. Assisted reproductive technology can help as a couple, especially if fertility drugs fail. Treatment includes intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In severe cases, donors and surrogacy are viable options. Set up a consult with a fertility clinic to explore all possibilities.
Find a fertility specialist
Infertility can be very frustrating, especially for younger, healthier couples. All parties must work together with the fertility doctor or specialist. The doctor will determine if the patient should take fertility drugs. For the right candidates, fertility drugs have a high success rate. If the treatment fails, there are more advanced treatments that can help.