If you or your partner are having trouble conceiving, know that you are not alone. For those that are struggling with infertility, there are thankfully many options for treatment. Depending on you and your partner’s medical history, your fertility doctor may recommend a treatment that fits your needs. Every treatment is done on a case-by-case basis, as every couple’s journey is different. Here are the three groups of fertility treatment options to choose from.
1. Oral Ovulation Medications (Clomid) with IUI
The first option of fertility treatment is with oral medications. Clomid (or Letrozole) is an oral medication that stimulates the ovaries to help achieve pregnancy. Clomid stimulates the ovaries to induce ovulation, which would help women who cannot routinely ovulate on their own. This treatment also enhances the overall fertility in women who do ovulate regularly, but are having trouble conceiving despite that.
Your fertility doctor will tell you to begin taking Clomid on the third day of your cycle (the third day of your period) and then continue for five straight days afterwards. After this you will be asked to schedule another appointment for an ultrasound, where your doctor will be able to confirm whether you were able to ovulate fertile eggs. Usually Clomid or Letrozole as a treatment option is only prescribed for three cycles, as prolonged use of these medications for more than 11 cycles is linked to a higher risk of ovarian tumors.
2. IVF/Donor Egg
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is probably the most well-known fertility treatment. During IVF, fertility specialists retrieve a woman’s eggs from her ovaries (oocytes), which are then fertilized outside the body with the male’s sperm. If the male partner has a low sperm count, then fertilization is achieved through a special process called Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) where a single sperm is injected into each egg. If the man’s sperm count is normal, then the regular procedure is to place a droplet of around 50,000 sperm onto each of the eggs. The fertilized eggs, now called embryos, are then implanted into the uterus. Usually this implantation is done using the Assisted Hatching procedure, where the embryo is manipulated to attach to the lining of the uterus.
For women who are struggling with infertility, there is also the donor egg option. With this option, IVF is performed using the male’s sperm on a donated egg, which is then implanted into the woman. The egg donor can be a known family member or friend, or she can be an anonymous chosen through a screened egg bank available at your fertility practice.
While IVF is a popular fertility treatment, candidates have many key factors to take into consideration before choosing this option. Success rates are dependent on male factor infertility, absent or damaged fallopian tubes, unexplained or long-standing infertility, and the woman’s history of reproductive disorders and diseases. Because of these factors, IVF is usually only tried as the last resort for treatment.
For special cases where the woman has had their tubes tied there is a surgical option to fix this in order to achieve pregnancy. Tubal Reversal is a surgical procedure where doctors can reverse a woman’s tubal sterilization. During this surgery, doctors will surgically reopen, untie, or reconnect a woman’s fallopian tubes to the uterus so that she is once again able to become pregnant.
As with every fertility treatment, there are factors to consider. The most important factor is age – the ideal candidates for tubal reversal procedures are under the age of 40. The next most important factor is how you had your tubal ligation procedure performed – it is easier for doctors to reverse closed fallopian tubes than to restore tubes that were removed. If the male partner or you do not have the right amount of sperm or eggs to achieve pregnancy on your own, the reversal procedure will do little to help your attempts at pregnancy. Therefore, depending on these factors, it may be easier for women to go the IVF route and have a fertilized egg implanted into them.
Fertility Treatment Options in Southern New Jersey
These three groups of fertility treatments have shown great success rates for many couples. If you are looking to undergo these treatment options, consider South Jersey Fertility Center. We offer a comprehensive, state-of-the-art fertility facilities and care in a friendly, comfortable environment. We have the longest continuously running IVF program in southern New Jersey, along with a proven track record of success for all of our fertility treatment options. Our doctors are frequently voted as “Top Doctors” in the tri-state area, and over 500 referring physicians refer our patients to our offices for help. No matter what your fertility option is, we are to help. Schedule an appointment today at one of our four locations to begin your fertility treatments.