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Treatments Available at a Fertility Clinic

by Editorial Team June 18th, 2018 | Women's Health
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Taking the plunge to visit a fertility clinic can be a difficult decision for many couples. Knowing what treatments are available to prospective parents can help.

Fertility problems affect more than 1 in 5 couples. Take a minute to let that surprising fact sink in. When facing possible fertility issues, couples can will also contend with the stress and discomfort associated with these problems, but know that you are not alone. Visiting a fertility clinic can provide piece of mind and a  direction for the future. Deciding whether or not to visit a can be a tough choice to make. If you’ve struggled with any of the following, it may be time to seek professional assistance from a fertility clinic.

Common Problems Women Face

● You’ve been attempting to conceive unsuccessfully for greater than one year
● You’ve experienced multiple miscarriages
● You’ve struggled with vaginal or uterine related issues in the past
● You’ve experienced irregular or extremely painful menses
● You’ve received chemotherapy, or have been diagnosed with cancer in the past
● You’re over the age of 35 and have tried to conceive for 6 months or more
● You have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
● You’ve had multiple surgeries to your reproductive organs
● You have a familial history of difficulty conceiving
● Hormone imbalances

 

If any of these complications sound all too familiar, it’s absolutely time to go to a fertility clinic. Over 5 million babies have been born through in vitro fertilization alone, and that’s not counting the successes of other fertility clinic treatments. In fact, for at least half of the couples that seek assistance from a fertility clinic get pregnant. Alongside of female reasons to seek assistance from a fertility clinic, common male fertility issues affect approximately 7% of men and account for 40-50% of all conception problems.

Common Problems For Men

● Low sperm count
● Poor sperm motility
● Misshapen sperm
● Blocked sperm ducts
● A history of trauma, infection or other problems with your testicles
● You have a familial history of difficulty with conception
● History of illicit drug or steroid use
● Certain autoimmune disorders
● Hormone imbalances
● Celiac disease

Occasionally, the only problems that couples face are environmental or emotional, including attempting conception outside of optimum ovulation, or one or both partners being under extreme stress. Sometimes women ovulate, or release eggs, sporadically. Once a fertility clinic has been able to narrow down the possible setbacks to a couples fertility, there are a number of options available for treatment depending on what your particular stumbling block may be.

Common Treatments Available

● Counselling and Nutrition
○ Sometimes, the timing is just off or you and your partner are under too much stress. Fertility clinics will perform a thorough assessment of both partners. Some fertility problems are easily overcome with counselling and nutritional changes.
● Medication
○ With problems ovulating, physicians at your fertility clinic may prescribe oral medication that you can take to encourage your ovaries to release more eggs, more often.
● Hormone Injections
○ Occasionally, doctors may prescribe hormone injections to help encourage ovulation.
● Surgery
○ Surgery for blocked fallopian tubes, sperm ducts, Asherman’s Syndrome, and other reproductive problems can be utilized.
● Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
○ IUI treatments involve physicians at your fertility clinic injecting sperm directly into your uterus while you ovulate. This is a great and inexpensive first approach, especially if you are suffering from sperm motility problems.
● In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
○ This is a process when an egg is fertilized outside of the uterus and then implanted into the endometrium. This can be done using both biological parents material, or by the use of donor eggs/sperm
● Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
○ If the intended father is found to have a low sperm count or poor sperm motility, this is the process whereby the sperm is directly implanted into the egg within a lab setting, then the resulting embryo is placed in the mother’s uterus using IVF.
● Sperm Donations
○ If fertility issues persist, or the father is found to be completely infertile, some couples choose to use sperm donation as a means of conception. Most fertility clinics provide counselling to ensure that this is the right choice for intending couples.
● Egg Donations
○ For women over 40, or women who have poor egg quality, or another problem with your biological material, egg donation is an option where hopeful couples will use ICSI and IVF in order to impregnate the mother with the fertilized embryo.
● Blastocyst Transfer
○ Due to IVF occasionally being unsuccessful, and transferring more than one embryo at a time can pose health risks to mother and baby, some fertility clinics have begun to offer this treatment, where multiple embryos are lab nurtured for five days, allowing doctors to choose the healthiest blastocyst to place in the uterus via IVF. This increases the chances of IVF success while decreasing the likelihood of multiple births and related health complications.
● Surrogacy
○ Surrogacy is the process of implanting a couples fertilized embryo into the uterus of another woman via IVF. This woman is called a surrogate mother. This is a fantastic option for woman who are unable to carry a child safely to term or for same sex couples who are unable to carry children.

Fertility clinics aren’t without fail, and not all treatments are successful the first round. Occasionally, multiple tests and screening are required to be able to appropriately pinpoint a couples fertility issues. Even then, treatments can span multiple visits over the course of several months, and sometimes even years. It’s important for couples to be aware of their emotional, financial, and physical well beings throughout the process of a difficult conception.

Common Issues Associated with Fertility Treatments

● Expense
○ Some fertility treatments aren’t covered by insurances, and if the treatments don’t take they can be costly to repeat
● Side Effects to Medications
○ Although it’s rare, some people can experience uncomfortable and (rarely) life threatening side effects to medications
● Emotional Distress
○ Failed fertility treatments can wreak havoc on emotions and put intense strain on relationships.
● Multiple Births
○ Some fertility treatments can result in multiple births, which can put strain on unprepared households as well have the potential to cause medical problems for the mother or children.
● Birth Problems
○ Some studies suggest that women who require fertilization treatments are at an increased risk for experiencing certain birth complications, like low birth weight or premature births.
Side effects or adverse reactions to any medical treatment is something to be aware of. Even though complications do arise, most couples find themselves pleased with the results of fertility clinic treatments. Should these treatments not be appropriate for you or your partner, emotionally, physically, or financially, counsellors can provide other options for how to expand your family, like adoption. For more information about any of these or other reproductive technologies, contact a fertility clinic or talk to your usual family provider. Above all, remember that there is a perfect solution to your families fertility problems, and with a little hope, patience, and help from the professionals, you will find it.
Brought to you by our friends at ilaya.com.
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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.