Today, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is practically a household word. But not so long ago, it was a mysterious procedure for infertility that produced what were then known as "test-tube babies." Louise Brown, born in England in 1978, was the first such baby to be conceived outside her mother's womb.
Unlike the simpler process of artificial insemination -- in which sperm is placed in the uterus and conception precedes otherwise normally -- IVF involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in...
But your doctor may suggest testing and treatment if you haven't been able to get pregnant after 1 year of having sex 2 or 3 times a week without using birth control. For women over 35, some doctors will offer testing and
treatment after 6 months of trying to become pregnant.
If a clear cause can be found and if there is a promising treatment for that cause, pregnancy is more likely. When a cause can't be found and fertility tests are normal, treatment is less likely to work.
A couple's chances of getting pregnant are greatest within
their first 3 years of trying. After 3 years of sex without birth control,
pregnancy is considered unlikely without treatment.1
Some couples who have tried treatment without
success become pregnant later without more treatment.
Before deciding to move forward with testing and treatment, be sure to think about these issues: