How to Get Fertility Treatments

Three Methods:Receive an Infertility DiagnosisDetermine what is Causing the InfertilityProceed with the Recommended Fertility Treatments

Many couples take great care to prevent pregnancy before they are ready to add children to their family, so it may come as a shock when they later have trouble conceiving. The majority of couples will get pregnant within one year of actively trying to conceive, but for the 10 to 15 percent of couples who struggle with infertility, negative pregnancy tests month after month can be a frustrating and devastating disappointment. Fortunately, fertility treatments are available to couples who need some extra help conceiving a child.

Method 1
Receive an Infertility Diagnosis

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    Schedule an appointment with a doctor after a year of actively trying to conceive without becoming pregnant. A doctor will evaluate the lifestyle and sexual habits of the couple. The doctor may recommend changes in sexual habits, and the couple will enter a period of trial and error to see if their infertility can be resolved without invasive treatments. The couple may also undergo testing to determine if there is a physical cause for the infertility.
    • Women who have not menstruated in six months or are older than 30 should consider scheduling an appointment to receive a diagnosis of infertility as soon as they suspect they are having trouble conceiving.
    • Men with a history of testicular or prostate issues or a known low sperm count, and women with a history of recurring miscarriages, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, pelvic pain or unusual menstrual cycles should consult a doctor before they begin trying to conceive.

Method 2
Determine what is Causing the Infertility

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    Consult with your doctor to determine the necessary tests for finding the cause of infertility. The doctor may recommend both partners be tested depending on each person’s medical history. A medical history evaluation can also help the doctor prioritize tests based on the most likely cause of infertility.
    • Men may undergo a general physical examination as well as an ultrasound examination to ensure the sexual organs are functioning correctly. A doctor will likely order a semen analysis which will determine the number and quality of sperm. A blood test to evaluate hormone levels may also be recommended.
    • Like men, women may also undergo physical and ultrasound examinations and hormone testing, as well as other testing that is specific to female reproduction. A hysterosalpingography is a test in which the doctor injects fluid into the uterus and then uses an X-ray to determine if the fluid proceeds to the fallopian tubes without encountering a blockage. A doctor may recommend a laparoscopy, which is typically an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. A laparoscopy allows the doctor to see the uterus and fallopian tubes with a tiny fiber-optic telescope. Genetic testing may also give some insight into what is causing the infertility.

Method 3
Proceed with the Recommended Fertility Treatments

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    Devise a treatment plan with your doctor, starting with the least invasive treatment first.
    • Fertility drugs that help hormone levels get back on track are available for both men and women. Often, doctors recommend hormone therapy when the cause for infertility is unknown, even after testing. Hormone therapy may also be used in conjunction with another treatment.
    • For patients with blockages and scarring within the reproductive system, surgery can provide a permanent resolution. Surgery may also be recommended for patients with fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis or genetic defects.
    • Artificial insemination could be the solution to unexplained infertility. Injecting a concentrated amount of sperm directly into the uterus during ovulation is a simple fertility treatment when there is no known medical reason that is preventing the couple from conceiving.
    • If less invasive fertility treatments fail, artificial reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization and zygote intrafallopian transfer, can take over for biology. For men with low sperm count or low sperm motility, introcytoplasmic sperm injection allows the doctor to inject sperm directly into harvested mature eggs. In some instances, the woman is not producing viable eggs, in which case an egg donor is needed.
    • For men with issues such as premature ejaculation or impotence, medication can help address these problems and increase the couple’s chance of becoming pregnant.
    • A wide variety of fertility drugs are available to help women who aren’t ovulating on their own. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe medication that stimulates the ovaries to produce mature eggs.

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Categories: Reproductive Health