Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex with a male partner who is not infertile. To get pregnant, you need to ovulate (release an egg) and then allow that egg to be fertilized by a sperm cell. In the United States, infertility affects about 6 million women or one in six. While several factors can cause Houston Infertility, it is most often due to problems with the female reproductive system.
Many infertility treatments are available, each aimed at helping you get pregnant naturally or by either assisted conception (in vitro fertilization) or adoption. The most common treatment options include:
You can have surgery to remove tissue that is blocking fertility if that is the cause of your infertility. This procedure is called laparoscopic tubal occlusion (LOTO). It involves making small incisions in the abdomen, through which tiny instruments are inserted into the abdominal cavity. Your surgeon will then use these instruments to create scar tissue around your fallopian tubes and block them so they cannot carry a fertilized egg down into your uterus. Doctors may perform this procedure alone or in combination with other types of infertility treatment.
Hormone treatment can help restore ovulation and make it easier for a woman’s eggs to be fertilized. Common medications used in hormonal therapy include clomiphene citrate and gonadotropins (which are follicle-stimulating hormones [FSH] and luteinizing hormone [LH]). Sometimes, your doctor may recommend these medications for more than one month, depending on how well they work for you and your partner.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is women’s most common form of fertility treatment. It is the process of using a woman’s eggs and sperm to create a baby. The process involves harvesting a woman’s eggs and combining them with sperm to create embryos, which are then placed in the uterus to mature. After several days, a doctor may perform an ultrasound to see if any viable embryos have been produced. If so, the embryos are transferred into the uterus. Doctors may use IVF if you have very few or no eggs.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is another nonsurgical fertility treatment for women. It involves placing sperm into the uterus through the cervix after washing it to remove debris and antigens from previous sexual intercourse. Your doctor can use IUI alone or in combination with other forms of fertility treatments.
Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)
Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) is another option for women with healthy eggs but no viable embryos to transfer into their uterus. GIFT involves collecting eggs from the woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with her partner’s sperm outside of her body, then transferring those fertilized eggs into her fallopian tube, where they will travel through it and attach themselves to her uterine wall.
Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT)
ZIFT is a procedure that uses fertility drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs in preparation for egg donation. Using an ultrasound-guided needle, the doctor injects fertility drugs into your ovaries. After 24-48 hours, the doctor retrieves eggs by using laparoscopy before transferring them back into your fallopian tubes.
It is never too early or too late to start infertility treatment. If you suspect that you have a problem, contact your doctor right away. Most cases of infertility can be treated successfully.