You may want to have a baby more than anything else in the world right now. But, despite repeated attempts, you and your partner have been unable to get pregnant. Fortunately, several infertility treatments exist that address a wide variety of fertility problems. You might have difficultly ovulating, a low sperm count or conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Types of Treatments
In some cases, a treatment for infertility may be as simple as having sex more often, according to MayoClinic.com. Other treatments involve therapy to help men overcome premature ejaculation or impotence. Some men may need surgery to improve their sperm count. A woman who struggles with infertility can take a variety of drugs, such as Clomid, or certain hormones to help her body produce and release healthy eggs. Assisted reproductive technology, or ART, is another treatment for infertility. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a common type of ART.
How Treatments Work
Before you can become pregnant, a series of events has to occur in your body. The egg has to be released from the ovary and needs to be fertilized by a sperm. The fertilized egg then needs to attach itself to the wall of the uterus, where it will develop into an embryo, then a fetus. When a couple is infertile, one or more of those events does not happen as it should. Fertility treatments attempt to correct one or more those issues, or in the case of ART, to recreate favorable conditions in a lab.
Risks of Treatment
Unfortunately, many infertility treatments are not without risks. A woman who takes hormones or other drugs to stimulate ovulation may experience ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. OHSS can cause her ovaries to swell, leading to pain. In some cases, OHSS can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure or fluid build-up in the chest, according to MayoClinic.com. Treatments that result in the release of more than one egg or treatments that involve implanting a few embryos in the womb at once can lead to several fetuses developing at the same time. The risk for miscarriage, birth defects and other problems, is greater the more babies a woman carries at one time.
While infertility treatments can be effective for many couples, some may try one or more treatments and not succeed in having a baby. If you are over age 35, your chances of getting pregnant using a fertility treatment are lowered. Your insurance may not cover infertility treatments, in which case you would have to pay for the procedures, usually up-front. While some treatments are relatively inexpensive, such as Clomid, others, such as IVF or gonadotropin, can cost thousands of dollars.
Infertility treatments can be controversial. When a couple undergoes IVF, several embryos are usually created at one time. Often, a few are frozen for later use in case none of the implanted ones develop fully. The decision about what to do with frozen embryos is up to the parents, but many people feel it is wrong to throw them away if they are not needed. In one case, a woman gave birth to eight children at once because she did not want to waste the embryos or abort any of the fetuses.