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 Infertility Treatment Guide

  

          
         
 
 
 

   

 
 

Infertility Treatment - Stop Worrying About Infertility

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There are many medical treatments available to assist couples trying to conceive. The video below answers some of the important questions about infertility treatment.

 


Please visit pages: infertility in women, infertility treatment for women, infertility in men, infertility treatment for men and refer frequently asked questions (FAQ) section below for more information on infertility treatment.

Infertility Treatments - FAQs

Frequently asked questions about infertility treatment are listed below (please click for answers):

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 click infertility treatment for men, infertility treatment for women for detailed information on each of the three treatment methods.

On what basis is a treatment method chosen?

The main factors that influence chosen treatment method are underlying causes of infertility. Please click causes of infertility in men and causes of infertility in women for more information.

Are there any differences between treatments for primary infertility and secondary infertility?

Causes of primary and secondary infertility tend to be the same and same treatment methods are used for both.

How is unexplained infertility treated?

In some cases of unexplained infertility, successful pregnancy happens without any treatment. All normal treatment methods except surgery can 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 as in 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 whole procedure 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 successful).  

What are the success rates of infertility treatments?

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, a treatment 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).

Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) are the most expensive ones, costing anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 US dollars per cycle. An IVF cycle can have additional costs, if donor eggs (can be very expensive) or donor sperm are needed or procedures such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), assisted hatching or blastocyst transfer are performed in conjunction with IVF. Discuss in advance with the fertility clinic about total costs involved for a treatment cycle and budget for hidden costs such as taking time off work and travel expenses.

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 a flexible 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 a particular 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 etc.

Are there any side effects for infertility treatments? 

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 weight 
  • Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome or over stimulation of ovaries (by fertility drugs) 
  • Mood swings, anxiety and stress 
  • Hot flushes 
  • 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 drugs  
  • There is a very low chance of birth defects in babies  
  • Liver damage in rare cases 

How to offset side effects of fertility drugs?

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 life?

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 treatment methods.

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 stress 
  • Avoid exposure to harmful environment (high temperature, radiations, presence of toxins etc) 
  • Have a disciplined sex life to avoid exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STD) 
  • 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 needed 
  • 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?

Both 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.

Some of the online communities are listed below:

http://www.inspire.com/partners/resolve/ 

http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/ 

http://www.ivfworld.com/ 

What are the options available, if pregnancy cannot be achieved after infertility treatment?

A large 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 are:

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.

Please click infertility in women, infertility treatment for women, infertility in men, infertility treatment for men for more information on these topics. 

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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.

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pregnancy miracle

"Within a few months of following your suggestions, my husband and I became pregnant after YEARS of being unable to conceive."   - Karen Devitt (New Jersey, USA)

pregnancy miracle review

Click here to know more

A clinically proven holistic and ancient Chinese plan for permanently reversing both male and female infertility
A completely natural and safe program for all age groups
• Easy to follow instructions and diagrams
Proven strategies for natural infertility healing without drugs, synthetic hormones, surgery or other artificial therapies
Tips on fertility diets and natural fertility supplements
How to eliminate most harmful infertility factors?
How to make love the right way and at the right time in order to successfully conceive?
Secrets to conceiving a healthy foetus
Best selling program of its kind on the entire web for 3 years in a row! Successfully used by 1000s of couples from all over the world.
2 month instant money back guarantee
Limited number offer of free private one on one email counselling for 3 months with Lisa Olson, author of Pregnancy Miracle

Click here to know more

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.