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Common Treatments For Medical Infertility

Jan 10, 2008
If you're trying to get pregnant and you've done everything you possibly can without medical intervention to try to get pregnant, then it's time to consult the medical profession for help. Following are some common fertility treatments, side effects and their typical success rates.

Assisted Reproduction Fertility Treatments

"Assisted reproduction" is a term used in the medical community to describe medical interventions used for infertile couples. Among the most common fertility treatments are:

Intrauterine insemination or IUI. Also known as artificial insemination, this is also often used along with giving a woman hormone treatments that will boost egg production. It can also help couples with low sperm count, infertility that has no known cause, or if there are cervical mucus problems. In this case, semen is collected and then delivered by catheter inserted through the woman's vagina and cervix directly into her uterus.

In vitro fertilization or IVF. In vitro fertilization has been one of the most stunning developments in reproductive assistance in the last 30 years. Today, it is the most common of all fertility treatments used. It is often used with women who have structural abnormalities such as blocked fallopian tubes, when a man's sperm count is low and/or the cause of infertility remains undiagnosed; however, IVF has made women pregnant successfully even when there is no known cause of infertility.

With IVF, a woman takes drugs to stimulate egg production, and these eggs are then surgically removed. They are combined with sperm, usually in a petri dish, fertilized, and then implanted in the woman's uterus. Babies conceived in this fashion are also often called "test tube babies."

Sperm donation. In cases where a couple's infertility stems from a man's sterility or low sperm count or when no man is present and a woman wants to conceive a child, for example, sperm donation is an option for parenthood. Oftentimes, donors are anonymous, but the donor can also be a friend or acquaintance.

Using donated eggs. Donated eggs are often used when a woman wants to conceive a child but her own eggs are not viable or there has been some disruption of ovulation.

Surrogacy, either traditional or gestational. With traditional surrogacy, a woman called a "surrogate" carries a child to term; that child has been conceived with her own egg and the father-to-be's sperm via artificial insemination. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries a child to term that has been conceived with the mother to be's egg and the father to be's sperm via in vitro fertilization, wherein the fertilized egg is implanted in the surrogate's womb.

Available Fertility Treatments

If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant, you should discuss all options available and decide the best method for you. Of course, you should do this with your doctor's help. Many fertility treatments are quite expensive and only partially or not covered by insurance, so your own budgetary constraints will also have to come into consideration. In addition, your own religious or moral beliefs will have an effect on the fertility method you choose. Only you can make the final decision, so speak openly with your doctor and make the best choice for you, together.
About the Author
Allen James is dedicated to helping couples experience the miracle of childbirth to beat medical infertility. Download a FREE report revealing proven, simple ways to improve your odds of conceiving to become pregnant fast.
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