Choosing an Infertility Treatment

    For many families, having children is one of the ultimate blessings. Some couples can easily bring their own bundles of joy into the world, while others face a long and rocky road of challenges. Most people never even imagine that infertility is an obstacle for them until they receive that difficult news from their doctors. If you are about to fight the infertility battle, you are probably feeling overwhelmed and scared at what awaits you. There are many ways to combat this, and some of the most common infertility procedures are listed below.

    Surgical procedures.

    Some infertility issues can be fixed via surgical procedure. Using incisions in the abdomen, a surgeon can correct reproductive issues such as the following: opening closed or blocked fallopian tubes, correcting genetic defects, remove fibroids, cysts, and excess tissue, and treat polycystic ovarian system (PCOS).

    Depending on what you had surgery for, your chances of conceiving after you recover are generally around 50%. Thankfully, there is not much different recovery for gynecological surgeries than others.

    Fertility boosting pharmaceuticals.

    Prescription drugs may be an option for you if you are struggling with infertility. These drugs will boost your reproduction hormones and encourage the regular release of eggs in your ovulation cycle. The two most common of these drugs are clomiphene and gonadotropins, which most women use for up to six months before moving on to a different form of infertility treatment.

    Like every pharmaceutical, these drugs will come with side effects. One is that they will increase your odds of carrying multiple babies (twins or more). Other side effects can include mood swings, breast tenderness, hot flashes, bloating, and headaches.

    The success rates for different infertility drugs vary widely, from 15% all the way up to 85%. Talk to a specialist at your local fertility center to find out which pharmaceutical is best for you.

    In vitro fertilization.

    In vitro fertilization, or IVF, refers to the procedure in which eggs are taken from your ovaries and are joined with your partner’s or donor’s sperm in a laboratory. From there, the fertilized egg is transferred back into your uterus.

    You may have to take a fertility boosting drug if you are planning to take the IVF route. If that is the case, you will probably experience some of the side effects listed above for IVF. From there, you will likely experience all the symptoms that come with a healthy pregnancy: cramping and implantation bleeding, nausea, bloating, and breast tenderness.

    It is smart to keep in mind and be prepared for the price tag associated with the IVF procedure. Just one cycle of this treatment can cost around $12,000, and the percentage of IVF cycles that led to a full term live birth are less than half even for young, healthy women, so the cycle may have to be repeated.

    Intrauterine insemination.

    Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is different from IVF. In this procedure, a highly concentrated amount of sperm from your partner or donor is inserted directly into your uterus via a catheter through the cervix. Since this procedure relies on your body having healthy eggs ready to be fertilized, you may have to take fertility boosting drugs to encourage ovulation before the IUI procedure, in which case you would experience the drug side effects listed above.

    This procedure is much more cost efficient than IVF, coming in at less than $1000 at most clinics. However, your chances of pregnancy are only between 7% and 16%, so a repeat cycle is likely.

    Surrogacy.

    Surrogacy is used when the woman’s body is incapable of carrying a child. This is usually due to complications with the placement and size of the uterus, PCOS, and health conditions such as diabetes. Even where these issues occur, a woman’s eggs may be still be healthy and usable. In this case, eggs are extracted from the mother and fertilized by the father’s sperm in a laboratory. The embryo is then deposited into the uterus of a different woman, who will carry the couple’s pregnancy to term.

    Surrogacy can be costly, especially since it is used in conjunction with IVF. Talk to your infertility specialists to find out which of these procedures is right for you to grow your family by two little feet.

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