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Fertility Problems - Treatment Overview

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 the cervix.
  • 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.

To learn more, see Other Treatment.

If you haven't already thought about adoption, this might be a time to think about it. Some couples decide at this point to spend their resources on adoption instead of IVF. Other couples see IVF as the best option.

Fertility treatment clinics

Fertility treatment clinics aren't widely available in some parts of the country, especially in rural areas. You may need to travel for treatment.

When you review clinic success rates, be aware that clinics treating more severe fertility problems may have lower success rates. So it's possible for a clinic with a lower success rate to have greater overall expertise than clinics with higher success rates.

The success rate of a clinic is influenced by many things, including the doctors' skills and experience and the cause or causes of your fertility problem.

When you review treatment success rates, remember that live birth rates are always lower than ovulation and pregnancy rates. Miscarriages are common among all women. But they are more likely in women with risk factors such as older age or a poorly controlled chronic health condition.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 07, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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