What are the different methods of infertility treatment?
Different methods to treat infertility are: medication,
surgery and assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART is an advanced method of infertility treatment which
is more expensive than other two methods. Please
clickinfertility treatment for men, infertility treatment for women for detailed information on each of the three treatment methods.
In some cases of unexplained infertility, successful pregnancy
happens without any treatment. All normal treatment methods except surgerycan
be used to treat unexplained infertility. Surgical correction cannot be performed since the cause of
infertility is unknown.
How long does infertility treatment take?
It depends on the treatment method and individual under treatment.
Treatment using fertility drugs can some times take several months before the results are
seen. If a surgical correction is done, in some cases conception happens soon after, while for others it
can take several months. In assisted reproductive technology such asin vitro fertilization (IVF), fertilization of egg happens in a laboratory setting and the embryo formed is transplanted
into mother's uterus, where it develops as a baby. The
wholeprocedure for one IVF cycle
can take 4 to 6 weeks and it would take another two weeks for pregnancy symptoms to be seen (if IVF was
What are the success rates of infertility
Success rate depends on a number of factors such as underlying
cause or causes of infertility, age of individual under treatment,
treatment method, expertise of treatment facility etc. On an average, infertility treatments can have 25% success
rate per cycle of treatment (one cycle of treatment can last for several days or several weeks depending on the treatment method).Hence,
atreatment cycle might need to be repeated several times before
achieving successful pregnancy.
How much do infertility
treatments cost? Is insurance coverage available for infertility
treatments? How to finance infertility treatments?
Treatment costs vary with the treatment method, location of
clinic, success rates of clinic, expertise of treatment facility etc. Fertility drugs administered as tablets are
least expensive, costing around $50 a month. Injectable drugs cost $2000 to $4000 per cycle. Surgeries can
cost from $3000 to $10,000. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) costs around $800 (all
estimates are in US dollars).
Laws governing insurance coverage for infertility treatments are
different in different countries and they vary among different states within the same country. Click
infertility insurance laws for more information on 15 states in the United States that
require insurance coverage for infertility treatments. The U.K.'s National Health Service currently offers free
IVF treatment for women aged 23 to 39, who have been infertile for at least three years or have an unidentified
cause of infertility.
Infertility treatments using drugs or surgeries may
be covered by insurance, but more expensive ART treatment methods such as IVF, GIFT, ZIFT etc are either
partially covered or not covered at all. It is advisable to read the insurance plan carefully and get the help of
an independent insurance adviser to find out whether the insurance plan covers the treatment. Some other
options for financing infertility treatments are:
Some fertility clinics offer
financing options in partnership with local banks
If there is aflexible spending
account offered by the employer, use it
Take out money from retirement fund
Take out a loan
Shared risk or refund IVF programs: Couple pays up front for multiple IVF cycles. If
the treatment does not succeed within the number of cycles for which the payment is made up
front, the clinic or program refunds all or part of the
money. Please pay attention to the terms and conditions which define "success" of the treatment. Some clinics define success
of treatment as achieving a successful pregnancy, while others define it as live birth, that is, having
a take-home baby.
How to choose the right fertility clinic?
Research on factors such as success rate of the clinic (some clinics define
success of treatment as achieving a successful pregnancy, while others define it as live birth, that
is, having a take-home baby), success rate
of the clinic in aparticular treatment method, success rate in treating a particular problem or a particular
age group, expertise of treatment facility, license of the clinic, when was the clinic established
Are there any side effects for infertility
Possible side effects of infertility treatments are:
Multiple pregnancy (pregnancy with two or more fetuses) that can cause
high blood pressure and diabetes in mother, premature labor and babies having low birth
Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome or over stimulation of ovaries (by
Mood swings, anxiety and stress
Infections or damage to reproductive tract
Ectopic pregnancy(a condition in which a fertilized egg gets implanted to fallopian
tube instead of uterus and starts growing there)
Temporary blurred vision
Allergic reaction to drugs
Acne, weight gain and breast enlargement in men using fertility
There is a very low chance of birth defects in babies
Liver damage in rare cases
How to offset side effects of fertility
Discuss with the doctor or fertility specialist about the warning signs of serious
side effects. If the individual under treatment is feeling uncomfortable with the treatment, he/she is recommended
to consult the fertility specialist. It might be possible to adjust the dosage of medication or to switch
to another medication. Taking tablets along with food can help to prevent stomach upsets. Drink enough water. In
case of anxiety or depression, seek support from family, friends, counselors or infertility support
groups. Be assured that the side effects are normal and they do not last beyond the treatment.
Does infertility treatment affect sex
It is possible that physical and emotional side effects of infertility
treatment can take a toll on sex life. Best thing to do is to avoid thinking too much about the
treatment and not to worry about chances of conception. While
timing the intercourse to coincide with ovulation is a good
strategy, it is recommended not to stress too much on it. Have regular sex and enjoy sex the same way as
it used to be. Pregnancy symptoms may show up sooner or later.
Are there any natural treatments for infertility? What can I do besides
taking fertility drugs to boost my fertility?
Natural treatment methods such as herbal medicine, acupuncture and yoga are used
to treat infertility. However, there are only limited scientific evidences about effectiveness of these
Besides taking fertility drugs, changes in life style factors listed below can
help to improve fertility
Stop/reduce smoking and alcohol intake
Stop use of marijuana or cocaine,
Have a balanced diet and exercise
Avoid exposure to harmful environment (high temperature, radiations, presence
of toxins etc)
Have a disciplined sex life to avoid exposure to sexually transmitted
Avoid unnecessary use of steroids
Anti psychotic drugs can cause infertility. Discuss with the doctor on
possibilities of avoiding anti psychotic medication or switching to another drug.
Men are recommended to avoid wearing tight underwear, taking
hot baths and bike riding
Join infertility support groups and seek help from counselors if
It is important for the couple to support each other. Avoid worries about
trying to conceive. Have regular sex, enjoying sex the same way as it used to be.
Where to find support?
online and offline support are available. Those looking for offline support such as counselling or meet ups, may
search for local infertility support groups offering those services.
What are the options
available, if pregnancy cannot be achieved after infertility
percentage of couples are successful in getting pregnant with the help of infertility treatments. However, in some
cases, the treatment may fail to achieve a successful conception. Options available in this scenario
Surrogacy: A surrogate mother conceives, carries and delivers a baby for another
person or couple, with the full intention of handing the child over to that person or couple after birth. There are
two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate
mother's own egg is fertilized with sperm of male partner of the couple under
treatment, through intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). In gestational surrogacy, either sperm and eggs retrieved
from couple under treatment or donor eggs and donor sperm are used in formation of embryos
through in vitro fertilization (IVF). One or more embryos are then transplanted into surrogate mother's uterus.
In gestational surrogacy, baby is not biologically related to surrogate mother, whereas in traditional
surrogacy, baby is biologically related to surrogate mother since surrogate mother's egg is used for
fertilization. Gestational surrogacy provides the couple under treatment an opportunity to be genetically
related to the baby (if eggs and/or sperm retrieved from couple are used for fertilization) and offers
better legal protection at the time of birth of baby. Surrogacy can be an expensive procedure and special
attention is needed to not to get into legal complications.
Adoption:is available for anyone who would like to become a parent. It is advisable to get the help of an
adoption counselor and lawyer to go through the adoption process. Here are two interesting quotes from a parent who
adopted a child:
"I really thought nothing would heal the depression from my
infertility when all it took was literally minutes with my new daughter. Of course people told me this would be
true, but I didn't believe them until it happened to me."
"I hope you won't let anything make you sad about the way your
children (or children-to-be) come into your heart and your home. The way doesn't matter. It's the children who
matter. If you run into somebody in a store who doesn't understand that, feel sympathy for them; there are
wonderful things they'll never know, and wonderful experiences they'll never have!" Jo M.
"Dear Lisa, I am living proof that your holistic program WORKS and can be
incredibly useful to couples with infertility issues. My husband and I found out I was pregnant
after over 6 years of desperately trying." -Barbara Emile (Sweden)
Note: It is advisable for a couple whose female partner is over 35 years of age to
seek immediate medical help from a fertility specialist, if they are not able to conceive after 6
months of regular sexual intercourse without using any contraceptives.
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Note: It is advisable for a couple whose female partner is over 35 years of age to seek
immediate medical help from a fertility specialist, if they are not able to conceive after 6 months
of regular sexual intercourse without using any contraceptives.