Fertility is an important factor for women who want to start families. There are many steps you go through to plan a pregnancy and to not get pregnant can be disappointing. Learning about your infertility can be a very hurtful and saddening experience. To determine infertility, your doctor will assess your medical history, current medications, and sex habits and history. Through testing and ultrasounds, your diagnosis will be revealed.
Though it is popular to think that infertility only affects women, it affects men as well. Men have the same rate of infertility as women, yet many people focus on the woman because she will be carrying the baby. To diagnose if a male is infertile a physical exam and sperm analysis often takes place. Women have to go through more testing than the male to make sure her body is capable of carrying a baby through the term. Infertility is usually a result of ovulation issues, sperm problems, or fallopian tube blockage.
There are ways around infertility and as technology advances and the science of the reproductive system becomes more understood. Options are available out there for an alternative to regular intercourse. Some people shy away from choosing to try a fertility procedure to get pregnant because of money, but there are ways to fund your treatment. Here are a few fertility treatments available.
1. In Vitro Fertilization
IVF treatment is a process that places hormones in the woman’s ovaries to help stimulate egg production. Once the eggs are produced they are extracted from the woman’s ovaries and taken to a lab where it will be fertilized. This happens only when the woman is ovulating. The fertilized eggs will go back into the woman’s body and the hopes for implantation begins. These fertilized eggs don’t take more often than not, and many women have more than one IVF treatment.
When the implantation is successful and pregnancy occurs, the IVF process is successful. This treatment is beneficial for those who have damaged fallopian tubes or have issues and those who have trouble with sperm count.
2. Fertility Drugs
Fertility drugs are a popular way to work around infertility issues and help with conceiving. These drugs are used to regulate and stimulate ovulation and eggs. It is a major treatment for those who have issues with ovulating. These drugs work like any other natural hormones to help trigger ovulation. A woman has to be ovulating to get the best odds of pregnancy. There are various types of fertility drugs, here are some:
- Clomiphene citrate
These drugs do have side effects, like any other drug, to consider. Make sure to go over any side effects with your doctor so you get the right fitting treatment. There are also some risks that come with these drugs. You have the possibility of having more than one child, meaning twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc. Even the risk of getting ovarian tumors in the future. So, make sure you do your research and understand the risks and side effects of any medication before you take it.
3. Intrauterine Insemination
Intrauterine insemination is a process that takes the sperm from a male and inserts it directly into the woman’s uterus. This is done when she is ovulating for the best probability of getting pregnant. IUI is usually the first option for those who are having difficulties with fertility. This procedure is done to create a shorter path for the sperm to swim without them having to go through the cervix.
Usually, infertility in men is determined by sperm count and sperm drive. Sperm is classified as weak when they aren’t able to get to the cervix or up through the fallopian tubes. This procedure is popular for the first option for infertility treatment, lesbian relationships, and those with a reproductive condition called endometriosis. Cryos International explains that the price range for an unmedicated IUI procedure is typically between $300 and $2,000. A medicated IUI is a great option for women under 35 who may have some fertility issues, as ovulation will be triggered. The success rate with a medicated IUI is better than an unmedicated IUI. There is, however, an additional cost for medication and monitoring.
4. GIFT and ZIFT
GIFT or gamete intrafallopian transfer is a treatment that collects both the eggs and the sperm and puts them directly into the fallopian tubes. The is completed using a surgical procedure called laparoscopy, which is when a small instrument with a light attached is inserted into the abdomen with a small incision.
ZIFT or zygote intrafallopian transfer is when the eggs are mixed with sperm and once they have been fertilized in the lab they are inserted through laparoscopy into the fallopian tubes. It is a combination of IVF and GIFT treatments. The zygotes (fertilized eggs) are supposed to implant themselves in the uterus to begin the development of a fetus.
Both of these procedures are great options for those who have unexplained reproductive issues. These procedures are rare and are for special cases. The risk of multiple births come with both GIFT and ZIFT treatments and can cause health dangers for both the babies and the mother. There is also a risk of pelvic infection when it comes to the laparoscopic procedure, along with a higher possibility of puncturing internal organs, and anesthesia side effects.
You must research and talk with your doctor to know what option is best for you and if you need fertilization treatments or not. There are risks that are attached to these procedures and you must take those into account before giving the okay. Through your test results, you and your doctor will be able to see what you can do to help the situation you are in. Make sure to include your spouse every step of the way.