Infertility is a serious issue, affecting nearly 15 percent of couples. There are a variety of factors that play a role in infertility in both men and women. Luckily, there are multiple solutions available to assist couples in achieving a pregnancy, jointly known as Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART). There are several affordable surgery packages available that can assist you in achieving a pregnancy.
The success of ART is usually dependent on combining it with fertility drugs. However, there can be occasional side-effects when utilising artificial reproduction techniques, such as an unplanned multiple pregnancy. Also, only between 20 and 25 percent of these methods result in a viable foetus. However, long-term research has shown no effects on the health of either the mother or the baby. The following are the most frequently used ART procedures.
- Artificial Insemination: Artificial insemination involves the injection of sperm into the uterus during the ovulation period. Women who cannot conceive even though they have healthy fallopian tubes usually go for this method. Artificial insemination can also employ sperm that has been frozen beforehand. If artificial insemination fails, then the doctor will discuss other more complicated procedures.
- In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF): IVF was first accomplished in 1978, when doctors managed to fertilise an egg outside the mother’s body in a process known as In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). In the case of women whose fallopian tubes are blocked, an IVF procedure is the only option for pregnancy. IVF constitutes nearly 99 percent of ART treatments performed. In this method, the doctor will suction the eggs out directly from the ovaries, which will then be combined with sperm collected from the partner. If fertilisation is successful, the embryo will be transferred to the uterus after developing for 4-5 days.
- Sperm or egg donation: Infertility problems are often due to problems in the sperm or eggs produced by the parents. Other times, the parents may not want to use their own sperm or eggs to avoid passing on genetic abnormalities to the child. In cases like these, donors are used to supply the sperm or eggs. Artificial insemination the usual process used to inject the sperm into the recipient, where it can form a viable embryo in the uterus. It can also be used in conjunction with IVF, following which the embryo is implanted. Donor eggs are combined with the partner’s sperm using IVF and then inserted into the uterus. Sometimes, both the sperm and egg come from donors, in which case a donor embryo is created by IVF before implantation.
- Surrogacy: Surrogacy is the technique employed for women who cannot carry out a pregnancy themselves for whatever reason. The embryo is prepared by IVF and implanted in a different woman’s uterus. The couple’s sperm and egg is most commonly used, though donor eggs or sperm are also an option. The woman who carries the baby to term is known as a surrogate.
Before considering fertility treatments, it is important that you make a clear plan about the steps you are comfortable taking. For example, you might not be willing to try surgery but you might be fine with fertility drugs. In addition, the cost of fertility treatments is a crucial factor to consider. Having a conversation with your partner and your doctor about the possible treatments will help you make a better decision.