Fertility treatments are medical procedures used to help couples or individuals become pregnant. There are several different types of fertility treatments available, each with its own specific goals and methods.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This is also called Artificial insemination. It is a procedure in which sperm is inserted into the female reproductive tract using a small catheter. People who are using donated sperm usually use this treatment. Some are single women and female couples, but can also be used by some heterosexual couples.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): It is a type of fertility treatment where fertilisation takes place outside the body. IVF is a procedure in which eggs are removed from the female’s ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilized eggs are then placed back into the uterus to develop into a pregnancy.
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): ICSI is a variation of IVF in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg to fertilize it. This procedure is often used for males with low sperm count or low sperm motility.
- Assisted Hatching: Assisted hatching is a procedure in which the outer layer of the embryo, called the zona pellucida, is thinned or opened to help the embryo “hatch” out of it and improve the chances of implantation.
- Egg or sperm freezing: Egg or sperm freezing (cryopreservation) is a process where eggs or sperm are frozen and stored for later use. This can be done for medical reasons such as cancer treatment. Social reasons such as career choices or single parenthood also get people to choose this option.
- Surgical sperm extraction: Men who have no sperm in their semen and who want to have children may be able to have treatment to collect the sperm surgically. Unfortunately, these treatments wouldn’t work for men with certain genetic conditions. Your clinic will explain if this applies to you.
- Embryo Transfer: An embryo transfer involves taking the fertilized egg and sperm and implanting the newly-formed embryo into the woman’s uterus. The embryos’ placement within the uterus must be precise, so your fertility doctor will guide this transfer by an ultrasound. This treatment is an excellent option for those who have fallopian tube damage or blockage, ovulation disorders, Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids, Tubal Ligation, and poor sperm motility or morphology.
- Surrogacy: Surrogacy is a method where a woman carries a pregnancy for another person or couple. This can be done using traditional surrogacy, in which the surrogate is impregnated with the intended father’s sperm. Another is gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate is implanted with an embryo created using the intended parents’ eggs and sperm.
Fertility treatments can be emotionally and financially draining. It’s important for couples to carefully consider the pros and cons before starting any treatment. It’s also best to consult with a specialist to determine the best course of action. With advances in technology, treatments have become more successful in recent years. Many couples have been able to start a family with the help of fertility treatments.
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