Each year, over 6 million couples report that they have trouble conceiving. With so many potential parents deeply desiring to start a family, the emotional and physical turmoil that they go through with infertility can seem like an immense challenge to overcome.
Little known facts about infertility
- Recent data shows that 1 in 8 couples has trouble conceiving
- At a woman’s peak fertility, she is still only 20 percent likely to become pregnant per cycle
- A woman’s fertility shows a marked decline after age 35
- Most issues with fertility have to do with faulty fallopian tubes
- Repeated miscarriages and pregnancy loss may have an influence on infertility
- Weight loss can positively impact fertility in women who are considered overweight or obese
If you and your partner have discussed options and adoption is not something you want to consider, there is good news. Over 90 percent of all infertility cases are treatable with some type of medical intervention. In today’s age of medical innovation and technological advances, it might not be easy to conceive a child using natural means. But it is possible to conceive with a little help.
Here are some of the best fertility options for couples who are having trouble conceiving by natural means:
1. Fertility drugs
Many couples choose to opt for drug intervention to improve fertile conditions in a woman’s reproductive system. These hormones help to stimulate and boost egg production and release, allowing for a higher chance that sperm can come into contact with an egg.
While as many as 50% of these women successfully conceive after hormone intervention, the use of these drugs and injections can be quite costly. Some couples simply cannot use drugs because of the cost.
2. Artificial insemination
Artificial insemination is the process by which a fertilized egg is implanted into the uterus. This process works well when traditional methods of fertilization have not been successful. This simple procedure can be performed in your doctor’s office. In general, it is affordable to most.
While an effective procedure, artificial insemination has the potential to result in multiple births. Therefore, couples should consider all possibilities and understand any potential outcomes of this type of fertility treatment.
3. Donor sperm
For couples where the father’s sperm count is low or compromised in some way, donor sperm may be used. This type of fertility treatment has an almost 80% success rate. However, some men report that they feel uncomfortable raising a child who has no genetic relationship to them. Talking with your partner about this option is essential if you agree on this type of treatment.
4. In Vitro Fertilization
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the process by which a woman’s eggs are extracted and then fertilized in a lab. Once fertilized, the embryos are then implanted into a woman’s uterus, hoping that one or more will result in viable pregnancies.
Treatment with fertility drugs is usually used in combination with this process, which can be quite costly. Just one cycle of fertilization can cost up to $8000. Checking with your insurance provider to find out what fertilization services are covered will be essential as you move through this process.
5. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injections
In this procedure, a healthy sperm from a male is inserted directly into a viable egg from a female and then implanted into her uterus. Fertility drugs help to boost this process as well. It’s a common treatment for men with low sperm count or compromised sperm the chance to become biological fathers.
6. Donor eggs
In this type of fertilization, healthy eggs are obtained from the ovaries of another woman and fertilized with the sperm of the father. They are then implanted into the womb of the woman wishing to conceive.
Fertility drugs will be necessary to make conditions ideal for in-utero implantation. In many cases, compensation for the donor female can be quite costly. Many couples want extensive health information on donor applicants, as genetic information will be passed on through her egg.
Surrogacy is an option for couples who have determined that a pregnancy will be too difficult or dangerous.
In this procedure, a woman is chosen to be a carrier of a pregnancy. An embryo from male and female is implanted into the surrogate’s body. The surrogate then goes through pregnancy and delivers the child for the parents.
Many couples with surrogates choose to be intimately involved throughout the pregnancy process to ensure that they can experience some of the events leading up to the child’s birth.
Many more options exist for infertile couples. If you are struggling to get pregnant, remember that there is hope. You and your partner can still experience childbirth and parenting.
Consult your doctor about what options exist for you, and stay positive! You and your partner can have the family you have been dreaming about with a little help. Best of luck to you in your family planning!