If you’re having trouble conceiving when you’re ready, you’re probably subject to a lot of emotions. From hopelessness and longing to frustration and shame, the important thing to know is that at least one in six couples find themselves exactly where you are right now. Some of them go on to conceive without assistance, but many others explore their options, which includes in-vitro fertilization, or IVF.
Fertility Treatments: Knowing Your Options
When people who are new to the concept of fertility struggles are asked to list their options, they often think of artificial insemination or surrogacy. These are frequently not the first course of action; some women start off with fertility drugs.
Drugs such as Chlomiphene are used to induce ovulation, creating a more reliable cycle where gauging your fertility is simpler. It’s moderately efficacious, with approximately 40% of the women who try it becoming pregnant in the first year. That said, many women have difficulty coping with the side effects, and it can take multiple months-long courses of the drug to work.
Like other fertility treatments, it also increases your chances of giving birth to multiple babies at once.
Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is chosen by some because it’s quite cheap. It’s frequently used in combination with fertility drugs. During IUI, a catheter is inserted into the cervix, and semen is passed through this tube into the uterus as a more direct delivery method. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that this procedure is only effective about 5-15% of the time.
[bs-quote quote=”“Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.”” style=”default” align=”left” author_name=”Dr. Robert Anthony”][/bs-quote]
Gamete intrafallopian transfer, alternatively and aptly called GIFT, is a very costly procedure in which the combination of sperm and egg are injected into the fallopian tubes. It has a decent success rate, but can be cost prohibitive and invasive when compared to modern IVF.
What About IVF?
IVF involves the combination of sperm and egg, which is grown into an embryo outside of the body. This embryo (or embryos) are then transferred to the uterus. Yet the actual planting of the embryos could be considered quite far along in the IVF process. As you’re researching the most affordable IVF plans, you’ll find different combinations of steps and supplemental therapies in various packages.
First, if you need assistance ovulating, you’ll do a course of drugs like gonadotropins. Next, your fertility doctor will use an ultrasound and a very slender needle to extract your eggs. From there, your eggs are fertilized with the sperm of your choosing and incubated in a laboratory. If fertilization between your particular egg and sperm combination is a challenge, your treatment may include intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to help things along.
Your fertility clinic will select the most viable embryos and implant these into your uterus. The success rate is pretty great for women 35 and under, with 40% carrying to term after their IVF treatment.
If you have a spouse or partner, now’s the time to begin discussing fertility treatments. Success is always more likely the younger you are, even though there are still treatments that could be successful for women over 35. With patience, research, and a positive attitude, becoming a parent is becoming increasingly accessible thanks to fertility treatments like IVF.