Treatment for infertility largely depends on the underlying reason for the inability to conceive a child or carry a baby to term. Clinical infertility is defined as a failure to get pregnant within a year of trying, or six months for women older than age 35. Read on to learn more about common fertility treatments and the medical issues they are designed to correct.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Also known as artificial insemination, this procedure is used when the male partner has a low sperm count, when cervical mucus issues are making it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg, or when a couple’s infertility is unexplained. With IUI, sperm is injected directly into the woman’s cervix. This procedure has a 70 percent success rate after six cycles.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is a procedure in which the sperm and egg are joined outside the body, and the resulting embryos are implanted into the woman’s uterus. IVF is typically used in the case of a Fallopian tube blockage or low sperm count. Depending on the cause of infertility, IVF can be performed using donor sperm, donor eggs, or both. Success rates for this procedure vary by age; it is successful in 41 percent of women younger than age 35; 32 percent (ages 35 to 37), and 23 percent (ages 38 to 40).
In some cases, surgical procedures are performed to eliminate the cause of infertility. This is common when a woman has endometriosis. Laparoscopic surgery can be effective in removing the superfluous tissue preventing pregnancy. Tubal surgery can be performed if a woman has blocked Fallopian tubes that keep eggs from being released and subsequently fertilized.
Depending on the cause of infertility, different medications can be prescribed to correct the issue. Women who are not ovulating may be prescribed medications that stimulate ovulation, such as Clomid. While these medications are effective, they increase the chances of conceiving twins or triplets. In some cases, these medications are also used when doctors cannot determine the cause of infertility. They are typically the first line of defense in combating infertility and are successful in an estimated 50 percent of cases.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year without success – or more than six months if you are older than age 35 – SouthLake OB/GYN and Advanced Surgery can help. Our medical team can help diagnose the cause of infertility and recommend the best course of treatment for you and your partner. Contact SouthLake OB/GYN and Advanced Surgery to schedule your consultation.