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Infertility & Reproduction Health Center

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Fertility Problems - Topic Overview

A wide range of treatments is available. Depending on what is causing the problem, a couple may be able to:

  • Take a medicine that helps the woman ovulate.
  • Have a procedure that puts sperm directly inside the woman (insemination).
  • Have a surgery that corrects a problem caused by endometriosis or blocked fallopian tubes.
  • Have a procedure that might increase the man's sperm count.

If these options aren't possible or don't work for you, you may want to think about in vitro fertilization (IVF). During an IVF, eggs and sperm are mixed in a lab so the sperm can fertilize the eggs. Then the doctor puts one or more fertilized eggs into the woman's uterus. Many couples try IVF more than once.

Treatment for fertility problems can be stressful, costly, and hard on your body. Before you start testing, make some decisions about how far you are willing to go with treatment. You may change your mind later, but it's a good idea to start with a plan.

  • Learn all you can about the tests and treatments. Then decide which you want to try. For example, some couples agree to try medicines but don't want surgery or other treatments.
  • Find out how much treatments cost and whether your insurance will cover them. If you don't have insurance, decide what you can afford.

Treatments for fertility problems can increase your chances of getting pregnant. But they also increase your chance of having twins, triplets, or more. Be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor.

Fertility problems can put a lot of strain on a couple. It may help to see a counselor with experience in fertility problems. Think about joining a support group. Talking with other people who are going through the same thing can help you feel less alone.

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