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Fertility treatment options

Fertility treatment options
June 17
12:43 2013

Overview of fertility treatment options

Fertility may be a very common problem these days, but thankfully,various treatments options are also available. The results may vary from person to person, but they certainly give a couple finding it hard to conceive,hope to fulfill their dream of having a child and you never know you might be the lucky one and your doctor’s very first effort towards improving your fertility can help you conceive.

A number of fertility treatment options are available, but which treatment will be suggested to you by your doctor, completely depends on fertility issues you or your partner have. Firstly, your doctor will start by diagnosing your problem.

How will your doctor find out if you and your partner have fertility problems:

A doctor can:

  • Do a physical examination
  • Ask question about your medical history, such as regularity or irregularity in periods, history of miscarriages, pelvic inflammatory disease etc.
  • They will try to find out about your lifestyle and habits, such as smoking, drinking habits etc. or whether you are taking any medicines or drugs
  • Do tests to check hormone levels, semen quality etc.
  • They can check ovulation with blood tests
  • They may do ultrasound of the ovaries
  •  Hysterosal pingographycan be conducted. It is an X-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes. This helps in finding physical blockages that may be causing infertility
  • Laparoscopy: It is a minor surgery carried out to see inside the abdomen. It helps in checking the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus for disease and physical problem.

Some of the fertility treatments options include:

Fertility drugs:

  • Description: If your tests establish that you are not ovulating normally, fertility drugs can help. The most common choice is clomiphene citrate. This drug assists in regulating hormones and triggers the release of eggs. However, they can cause release of more than one egg at a time, which increases the chances of multiple pregnancies. Consult your doctor before you start taking any drug.
  • Additional information: Clomiphene can causevaginal dryness, mood swings, hot flushes and breast tenderness.

Injected medicines:

  • Description:If you don’t get pregnant after taking clomiphene for 6 months, your doctor can recommend fertility hormones or injections. Wide arrays of injected medicines are available including: Human menopausal gonadotropin or hMG, Follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH, Gonadotropin releasing hormone. These injected medicines stimulate the ovulation. They also increase the chances of multiple pregnancies.
  • Additional information : They can cause headache, digestive upsets, bloating, continued bleeding etc.

Surgery for blocked fallopian tubes:

  • Description: If in your X-ray blocked fallopian tubes are found. Keyhole surgery or laparoscopycan be prescribed. It is a treatment to unblock fallopian tubes or remove scar tissues that prevents eggs from travelling down the fallopian tubes. The scarring can be caused by the overgrowth of tissue that lines the uterus, endometriosis, previous surgery, or history of pelvic infections.
  • Additional information:After surgery,you may have discomfort in your shoulders or chest from the carbon dioxide used during surgery. Your belly can also feel sore for some days.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI):

  • Description: IUI or artificial insemination is an infertility treatment, which is generally used to treat mild male factor infertility, couples with unexplained infertility, women who have problems with the cervical mucus. In this procedure,your partner’s sperm or donor’s sperm are injected directly in to uterus when you are ovulating. IUI is generally used with combination of fertility drugs that stimulate ovulation.
  • Additional information: You may feel cramping afterwards for a day or few.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART):

  • Description:It is a group of different methods used to assist infertile couples. It works by removing woman’s egg from her body; they are then mixed with sperm to make embryos. Embryos are then put back in the woman’s body (uterus). Some common types of ART are: IVF, ZIFT, GIFT and ICSI
  • Additional information: ART can be time consuming and expensive. The complication is that of multiple fetuses.

In Vitro Fertilization: (IVF):

  • Description: IVF means fertilization outside the body. It is the most effective ART. It is used when man produces very few sperms or fallopian tubes of woman are blocked. Generally, used in conjunction with fertility drugs. Eggs are put in a dish in a lab along with man’s sperm for fertilization. After few days (3-5) healthy embryos are implanted in uterus.
  • Additional information:Unpleasant side effects can occur due to fertility drugs. Also, there are increased chances of multiple pregnancies.

Zygoteintra fallopian transfer (ZIFT):

  • Description :ZIFT or Tubal Embryo Transfer is similar to IVF. Fertilization takes place in the laboratory. Young embryo is transferred to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.
  • Additional information: transfer of embryos into the tube may require an extra surgical procedure called laparoscopy.

Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT):

  • Description :In this treatment procedure, egg and sperm are transferred in to the woman’s fallopian tube. Hence, fertilization occurs in woman’s body.
  • Additional information: The transfer of gametes into the tube requires an extra surgical procedure called laparoscopy.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI):

Description:This fertility treatment is generally used for couples with sperm problems. In this procedure a single sperm is injected into a mature egg. Then the embryo is transferred to the uterus.

Donor Insemination (DI):

Description:Donor sperm is used to fertilize your egg via IUI or IVF treatment. This treatment is for couples where man’s sperms are low quality or there is any other problem related to ejaculation.

Egg or Embryo donation:

Description:Egg is donated by another woman. The egg is mixed with sperm of the couple for which treatment is taking place. It is then implanted in the uterus. Generally prescribed for women who are 40, or have poor quality eggs.

Donor embryos:

Description: Couples looking for less expensive option can consider this treatment to get pregnant. These are embryos donated by other couples who have completed the IVF process. This procedure is reasonably priced as compared to IVF. It is suggested to patients who have not had success with IVF.

Surrogacy pregnancy:

Description: In this treatment regime another women carries a baby for you till the birth, after which you legally become the baby’s parents.It is generally prescribed to women who find it hard to carry the baby in their womb. IVF is used to create embryos.

The success rate of all these fertility treatment options differs immensely. There are various factors on which success depends. Consult your Doctor and he will be able to guide you for any particular treatment depending on your and your partner’s physical health.Also,it is recommended to choose the fertility clinic wisely.

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1 Comment

  1. Dr.Sundeep
    Dr.Sundeep Author January 11, 14:46

    A constant reminder that you need to consult with your doctor before making a decision to adopt any of the methods listed above!

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