When a person or couple is diagnosed with infertility, it’s easy for them to feel defeated or want to give up hope. But it’s important to remember that infertility doesn’t mean that conception is a lost cause. There are a variety of infertility treatments that you can explore to assist you in your fertility journey and boost your chances of becoming pregnant.
Once you start to learn about the different infertility treatments, it can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re unsure about which choice will work best. But that’s what we’re here for.
Read on to learn about the basics of infertility and the various infertility treatments that are available. By the end, you’ll have a better sense about the efficacy of each treatment so that you’re able to make the best choice.
What does it mean to be infertile?
A doctor will diagnose a couple or individual with infertility if they have been unable to conceive after one year of having sexual intercourse without a form of birth control. If the female is 35 or older, then they can be determined as infertile after six months. Infertility affects millions of men and women around the world. In fact, about 1 in 6 people are unable to conceive a child after one year, which adds up to about 17.5% of the adult population.
The likelihood of infertility is almost exactly the same for women and men, with about 9% of men and 11% of women struggling with fertility problems in the United States.
While the inability to conceive is the main symptom of infertility, it can also manifest through other signs. Potential symptoms of infertility in females include:
- Absent or irregular menstrual periods.
- Painful periods.
- Weight gain without cause.
Infertility in males can cause symptoms such as:
- Changes in sexual desire.
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Pain, swelling or lumps in testicles.
4 infertility treatments and their efficacy
Even though infertility makes your journey to conception difficult, that doesn’t mean you should lose all hope. The good news is that there are plenty of treatments that doctors use to push past the barriers of infertility. But it’s important to determine which treatment will have the greatest chance of success.
There isn’t a guarantee of a successful pregnancy for any treatment. As you’ll be able to see from some of the options, the efficacy rate tends to increase when different treatments are combined. Your fertility specialist will determine which treatment is best for you based on your symptoms and medical history.
Here are four infertility treatments:
- Ovarian stimulation (OS) — The first step in many fertility treatments is the prescription of medication to help stimulate ovulation. Your fertility specialist will typically recommend oral tablets of clomiphene citrate or letrozole to increase the number of ovulated eggs from the fallopian tube. Both types of prescriptions have similar efficacy. Pregnancy that’s caused by OS will likely occur in the first three months.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)— This procedure involves sperm being directly implanted into the uterus. The goal is to increase the number of healthy sperm cells that could possibly fertilize an egg in the fallopian tubes. When OS and IUI are combined, they have an efficacy rate of up to 20%.
- Trigger shot — In addition to an IUI and OS, your fertility specialist may recommend an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which is a hormone that assists in the release of multiple mature eggs that are waiting in your ovaries. To get the best timing, the trigger shot is administered during an ultrasound. A study showed that when an IUI is done in conjunction with an HCG shot, the success rate of pregnancy is about 18.2%.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) — IVF is used as a treatment option for unexplained infertility when the other options haven’t been effective. IVF involves removing eggs from the ovaries to be fertilized by sperm in a lab. The efficacy of this treatment decreases as the female ages. The success rate is also dependent on how many eggs are retrieved. For example, a woman under 35 with 10 retrieved eggs has a success rate of more than 40%.
Fertility Cloud can help you determine the infertility treatments that will have the best efficacy
Being unable to conceive can take a toll on your mental and emotional health, and the uncertainty that comes from infertility treatments can add another layer of stress. But we’re here to help you determine the best infertility treatment for you to provide the highest efficacy rate.
If you’re ready to start exploring infertility treatments, contact our team by phone today for more information or book an initial appointment online with a fertility specialist.