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A diagnosis of infertility is distressing to anyone who is hoping to conceive. Both men and women begin to feel despair at the thought of never having children. However, infertility doesn’t mean you will never be able to have a child. It just means it may be more difficult and expensive than conceiving by natural means. Still, the cost of IVF is not always as high as it is believed to be and there are several other ways to welcome a child into your family.
Your doctor will recommend the option which is best for you and your partner based on which of you is infertile, the reason for that infertility, your age and health, and several other factors.
Sometimes improving your lifestyle can improve your chances of becoming pregnant. Eliminating certain medications and harmful substances, exercising regularly, and improving the timing and frequency of sexual intercourse may help.
This is one of the first things doctors will suggest to treat some types of infertility and enable you to have the child you’ve always wanted. For men, the drugs will be aimed at increasing testicular function by boosting sperm quality and production. For women who are infertile due to ovulation disorders, medication is used to regulate and encourage ovulation.
Sometimes a couple’s infertility is due to problems with ejaculation. Either the man can’t ejaculate or there is no sperm in the fluids. Retrieving the sperm can enable him to contribute to a pregnancy.
Placing healthy sperm directly in the uterus during ovulation can help some types of infertility. It can be coordinated with the woman’s normal cycle or used along with fertility medications.
If the problem can’t be treated by medication, surgery may be an option. For some men, surgery can reverse a sperm blockage. For others, repairing a varicocele can help improve chances of their partner becoming pregnant. A varicocele is an enlarged vein in the scrotum. Surgical treatment of some uterine problems can also restore fertility. These include endometrial polyps, intrauterine scar tissue, and uterine septum.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
This is often the last option doctors will recommend. In vitro fertilization is the most common form of assisted reproductive technology. It usually involves:
- Stimulating a woman’s egg production
- Retrieving several mature eggs
- Fertilizing them with her partner’s sperm in a lab
- Implanting the embryos in the uterus
Other techniques include:
- Assisted hatching – opening the outer covering of the embryo to assist implantation
- Using donor eggs or sperm if one partner has severe problems
- Using a gestational carrier – placing the couple’s embryo in the uterus of another woman
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection – injecting a single healthy sperm into a mature egg
When your doctor delivers a diagnosis of infertility, it will be hard to take in. However, given modern advances in science, it doesn’t mean you will never have a child. You just need to work with your doctor to find out which solution may be right for you. Your doctor will take your specific circumstances into consideration before coming up with a plan of action.