Infertility is a major problem for many women who wish to conceive. It can impact all areas of their lives if they long to have a baby. Fortunately, infertility is treatable, and many women who were deemed infertile go on to have one or even multiple children.
Depending on the cause of infertility, a doctor may prescribe medication. For example, Clomiphene stimulates the production of eggs if you have difficulty ovulating. Metformin may be given if you have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Hormone injections are often given when no cause for infertility is found. In these situations, everything appears normal on tests, but you are unable to conceive.
Insemination is another option, and it is often recommended when the man has a low sperm count. This treatment is effective because it puts the sperm closer to the egg than with intercourse, which increases the likelihood that the woman will conceive.
In certain cases, a surgical procedure may be able to solve the problem. An example is with endometriosis where laparoscopic surgery is often recommended to remove scar tissue so the woman can get pregnant.
A doctor may need to perform tubal surgery if your fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged. If the surgeries work, then the woman should be able to get pregnant after recovery.
- Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
If initial treatments don’t work for the woman, the next step is ART. This process is more expensive and can take multiple attempts for success. In some cases, they will not work, and the woman will still be unable to get pregnant.
Some common types of ART include the following:
- IVF or in vitro fertilization – an egg is fertilized and placed in the woman’s uterus.
- ICSI or intracytoplasmic sperm injection – a single sperm is injected into an egg in the lab and then inserted into the uterus if it becomes fertilized.
- GIFT or ZIFT (gamete or zygote intrafallopian transfer) – the eggs and sperm are placed into a fallopian tube through an incision in the stomach with GIFT while ZIFT is in vitro fertilization before the egg is placed into the fallopian tube.
When considering treatment options, a doctor will usually prescribe the less expensive and invasive treatments first. While it can be difficult for an infertile woman to conceive, advances in medicine have made it possible for many to become mothers.