Fertility Treatment Options to Help You Grow Your Family
If you have been unable to become pregnant after a year of trying, you are not alone. About 15 percent of couples cannot get pregnant, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Fortunately, there are now a large number of fertility treatment options to help you conceive a baby and grow your family.
Doctors trace infertility to the woman in about a third of all cases and to the man in about one-third of cases. In the remaining cases, doctors trace infertility to both parents or cannot find a cause at all.
Fertility treatment options are specifically for men or for women. Some treatments involve both parents.
Common Fertility Treatments Options
Common fertility treatment options use medications, surgery, or assisted reproductive technology. Fertility drugs improve levels of hormone associated with reproduction. Surgery corrects physical defects that prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) involves removing the egg and sperm from the man and woman’s bodies, fertilizing the egg with the sperm in a laboratory, and then implanting the egg into a woman’s womb. The ART procedure can use the parent’s egg and sperm, donor eggs, donor sperm, or previously frozen embryos.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common type of assisted reproductive technology; it is also highly successful. In IVF, the woman takes fertility medications that trigger the production of multiple eggs, which IVF specialists can collect for later fertilization.
The most common fertility treatment options include:
- Minimal Stimulation IVF (Mini IVF) – Uses only oral fertility drugs or minimal use of injected fertility drugs
- Natural Cycle IVF (Natural IVF) – Does not include the high doses of fertility drugs
- Conventional IVF or Traditional In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Donor Egg IVF – Uses a donated egg
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – The placement of sperm into the woman’s uterus
- Ovulation Induction – The use of medications that stimulate the ovulation of an egg
- Alternative Treatments – Can include acupuncture, massage therapy, infertility support groups, and individual therapy
Some couple benefit from other services, such as genetic testing and surrogacy. Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) helps parents understand their individual risks for having a genetic problem that interferes with fertility. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) can help fertility doctors diagnose genetic abnormalities that may be preventing a couple from having children. Gestational surrogacy implants the egg and sperm of the parents into a surrogate who will carry the baby to term. Traditional surrogacy involves the artificial insemination of the mother with the father’s sperm.
Many couples try several fertility treatment options before finding one that works for them. If you and your partner have been trying unsuccessfully to have a baby for at least one year, a fertility specialist may be able to recommend fertility treatment options to help you enjoy a larger family.