Fertility Problems - Treatment Overview
Some fertility problems are more easily
treated than others. In general, as a woman ages, especially after age 35, her
chances of getting pregnant go down. But her risk of
miscarriage goes up.
are 35 or older, your doctor may recommend that you skip some of the steps
younger couples usually take. That's because your chances of having a baby decrease
with each passing year.
It's important to understand that even if you are
able to get pregnant, no treatment can guarantee a healthy baby. On the other
hand, scientists in this field have made many advances that have helped
millions of couples have babies.
Take time to plan
Before you and your partner start
treatment, talk about how far you want to go with treatment. For
example, you may want to try medicine but don't want to have surgery. While
you may change your mind during your treatment, it?s good to have
an idea where you want to draw the line.
Treatment for fertility can also cost a lot. And insurance often doesn't cover these expenses. If cost is a
concern for you, ask how much the medicines and procedures cost. Then find out if your
insurance covers any costs. Talk with your partner about what you can afford.
Thinking about this ahead of time may help keep you from becoming emotionally and financially drained from trying a series of treatments you hadn't planned for.
- Infertility: Should I Have Treatment?
Types of treatment
Treatment for the woman
Treatments for fertility problems in women depend on what may be keeping the woman from getting pregnant. Sometimes the cause isn't known.
- Problems with ovulating. Treatment may include taking medicine, such as:To learn more, see Medications.
- Unexplained fertility. If your doctor can't
find out why you and your partner haven't been able to get pregnant, treatment may include:To learn more, see Medications.
- Blocked or damaged tubes. If your fallopian tubes are blocked, treatment may include tubal surgery. To learn more, see Surgery.
- Endometriosis. If mild to moderate endometriosis seems to be the main reason for your infertility, treatment may include laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrial tissue
growth. This treatment may not be an option if you have severe endometriosis. For more information, see the
Treatment for the man
Your doctor might recommend
that you try insemination first. The sperm are collected and then concentrated
to increase the number of healthy sperm for insemination.
When initial treatments don't work
Many couples who have problems getting pregnant arrive at a
common point: They must decide whether they want to try assisted reproductive technology (ART).
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common type of ART. In this treatment, a fertilized egg or eggs are placed in the woman's uterus through
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI (say
"ICK-see"). In a lab, your doctor injects one sperm into one egg. If fertilization occurs, the doctor puts the embryo into the woman's uterus.