Treating infertility is important to many individuals-both men and women-and couples who are experiencing this unfortunate condition. Infertility is often described as an inability to get pregnant after a year of unprotected sex, or six months if over the age of 35. Those experiencing this condition should speak with a fertility specialist in their area to help determine the cause of the condition and to explore various treatment options. There are several treatments designed to help men and women overcome infertility and looking into all of one’s options is often beneficial.
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is perhaps the most well-known fertility procedure. This involves combining sperm and eggs in a dish in a laboratory to create embryos. Select embryos are then transferred to the woman’s uterus where they may implant in the uterine lining and develop. When severe male infertility is present, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be used to combat this.
ICSI involves the direct injection of a single sperm into a mature egg to create an embryo. Those with sperm production or motility problems may find this procedure helpful. Those who have experience failures with IVF in the past may be considered candidates for this procedure as well.
Women who are experiencing infertility may be encouraged to take fertility medication to aid in the production of healthy, mature eggs. Fertility medicines may help women produce multiple eggs during only a single cycle to increase their chances of conceiving. The medications may be used in conjunction with intrauterine insemination (IUI), which is also known as artificial insemination, or other procedures in which collection of eggs is required. With IUI, collection of eggs is not required. The procedure involves the insertion of washed and prepared sperm into the woman’s uterus through a catheter. The idea is that the sperm will then pass into the fallopian tubes so that fertilization may occur naturally.
Donor eggs and donor sperm are available through a number of fertility clinics when the production of eggs and/or sperm by the male or female partner is not possible, or under other circumstances. Surrogacy, a procedure in which a surrogate carrier will carry the child for an otherwise infertile couple, may also be an option for some couples who are unable to conceive naturally. Depending on the varying circumstances, several types of fertility treatment or procedures may be recommended by the fertility specialist you discuss your condition with.