Infertility Part II: Finding the Right Treatment
So, you realize that you’re having trouble conceiving. You’ve had tests that have determined why you’re not getting pregnant (and in some cases, there will be no identifiable cause). What now? Let’s look at some of the most common and popular infertility treatments.
Myomectomy or Polypectomy
Sometimes unwanted tissue inside the uterus can cause infertility. The MyoSure procedure may be a way to help. A Myomectory or Polypectomy is a simple hysteroscopic procedure that gets rid of unwanted tissue, such as fibroids, or polyps, without having to remove, or even cut the uterus. Your doctor inserts an instrument (hysteroscope) through the vagina to visualize the inside of your uterus in order to identify the fibroid or polyp. A tool is then inserted through the hysteroscope to remove the tissue. Unlike the removal of fibroids through the abdomen, a hysteroscopic myomectomy requires no cuts or incisions in the skin. The recovery period is quick because there is no need for general anesthesia, and in a clinical study, the overall complication rate was less than 1% for myomectomies and polypectomies.(1) The MyoSure procedure may be a way to help.
This is one of the least invasive fertility treatments. It’s a low-tech way to increase the amount of eggs a woman develops during her cycle. Sometimes this is all that’s necessary for a woman with ovulation issues to get pregnant. There are a number of fertility drugs. Your doctor will help you find the right one for you.
Artificial Insemination (IUI)
For men with low sperm count, or motility, or who are unable to conceive because of a disability or premature ejaculation, IUI may provide the solution. It can also help increase the odds of pregnancy for women with mild endometriosis. In an IUI treatment, the sperm is washed and concentrated, and placed directly into theuterus around the time of ovulation. This treatment can be done with a normal cycle, or with fertility medications.(2)
In vitro fertilization
It’s always exciting when a new baby arrives, but when Louise Joy Brown was born on July 25, 1978, the entire fertility community celebrated. Brown was the first baby to be born using In vitro fertilization (IVF).(3) Today there are more than five million babies who’ve been born using this procedure.(4) Simply described, eggs from a woman’s ovary are removed and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized egg(s), or embryo(s), are then placed into a woman’s uterus.(5)
For better odds of an egg or embryo implanting, and a pregnancy occurring, a woman takes a fertility drug, to increase the amount of eggs she makes during an IVF cycle. This means a doctor may implant six eggs, in hopes that one will take, but sometimes two or three take, and the couple hoping for one baby, has two or three. Multiples is always a possibility with IVF.
For the very lucky, IVF is covered by health insurance, but for many this is an out-of-pocket expense. And expensive, it is, costing on average $12, 500 in the United States.(6)
There are many factors that determine whether or not you are a good candidate for IVF. One is the woman’s age, which is related to the quality of her eggs. Another is the infertility issue itself, and whether or not that could impede the development, or ability to remove the eggs from the ovary. Success rates vary, but this can be the ‘happy’ answer to having a baby for many couples.
Donor Egg and Donor Sperm
If a woman’s eggs are not viable, because of age, or another issue, IVF can be done with a donor egg. This allows the woman to carry a baby that is biologically her partner’s. Using donor sperm, when a man’s sperm is not an option for any variety of reasons allows a woman to use her own egg, with the donor’s, so that the baby is biologically hers. For many couples, it’s soothing to know that one of the parents is genetically connected to the child. Donor eggs and sperm are anonymous, however, information about a donor’s physical characteristics, race, ethnic background, educational background, career history, and general health are available.(7)
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Most commonly used when there is a male infertility factor, such as low sperm count, or motility, ICSI helps the sperm penetrate the egg, by being injected directly into the egg, and then transferred into the uterus.(8)
When prospective parents have tried everything they can to conceive, many choose to turn to surrogacy. This is when a baby is carried by another woman. The baby may be biologically the couple’s, or can be conceived from a donor egg and a donor sperm (or the mother-to-be’s egg and a donor sperm, or the father-to-be’s sperm with a donor egg). There are surrogacy agencies who specialize in this form of treatment, and can help a couple to choose the right surrogate for them. Obviously, the utmost care and research must be given to finding the best fit when it comes to a surrogacy. Not so many years ago, finding out you were infertile meant an end to the hope of becoming a biological parent. But today, with patience, perseverance, support, and good medical treatment, overcoming infertility is a very real and exciting possibility.
- Posted by holx-admin
- On December 23, 2015