We tend to hear a lot about preventing unwanted pregnancy, but when you’re dealing with infertility, you realize that getting pregnant isn’t always as simple as shelving the birth control. Infertility can affect your entire life, and understanding your options can help you make informed decisions about what steps to take and when. There are many potential solutions to infertility, including:
Fertility drugs may be taken in pill or injectable forms. These drugs contain hormones that boost egg production and make the uterus more hospitable for embryo implantation. Often the first choice in fertility treatment, they tend to be relatively inexpensive and convenient.
Specially prepared sperm is inserted into the uterus, often in conjunction with fertility drugs to maximize the chances of fertilization. This option is best when the male partner has slow-moving or low-quality sperm, or the female partner has cervical mucus that is too acidic, thick, or scant to transport the sperm to the egg without medical assistance.
Sometimes, another man’s sperm can be used during IVF or IUI. This option often works well for couples with male-factor infertility, single women, lesbian couples, or men who have genetic disorders they want to avoid passing to their offspring.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is a multistep process in which eggs are fertilized with sperm in a lab. When embryos develop, they are implanted into the female partner’s uterus. IVF is often a good option for women who are older or have damaged or blocked fallopian tubes or scarring from endometriosis. It can also work well for couples where the male partner has poor sperm quality or for couples with unexplained infertility.
In egg donation, eggs are obtained from another woman and fertilized by sperm from either the recipient’s partner or another man. The resulting embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus. Egg donation is an appropriate option for women with damaged ovaries, older women, women who have undergone radiation, chemotherapy, and women with genetic disorders they want to avoid passing to offspring.
In a surrogate pregnancy, a woman carries the fetus to term for the prospective parents. The surrogate achieves pregnancy through artificial insemination using sperm from the father or through IVF with the intended couple’s embryo. In some cases, donor sperm and eggs are both used. Surrogacy can be an option for couples where the female partner cannot carry a baby or for couples where both partners are infertile.
These are just some of the options couples facing infertility today can choose from when hoping to add a child to their family. If you are struggling with conceiving and decide that egg donation may be the next step for you, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.