All About Female Infertility Treatment
Need to learn more about female infertility treatment? Maybe your doctor has recommended fertility drugs or hormones to help you get pregnant. Or perhaps you’re considering in vitro fertilization (IVF) or another high-tech female infertility treatment.
Many women use female infertility treatment successfully each year to get pregnant and start a family. Yet, before you take female infertility treatment, it’s important to know the options available.
Why is female infertility treatment needed?
Consider the remarkable steps your body undergoes in order to make a baby:
- You must produce healthy eggs and have healthy fallopian tubes, so your partner’s sperm can reach the egg and fertilize it
- Once the egg is fertilized, the embryo must have a healthy womb in which to grow and develop
- Your body must be able to continually nourish the baby and carry it to full term
When one of these steps goes wrong, female infertility treatment may be necessary.
Consider baby-boosting drugs
There are a variety of baby-boosting medicines that you can take for female infertility treatment. Before prescribing these fertility pills, your doctor will determine if you are ovulating and whether your ovaries are producing follicles. Using a variety of different tests, your doctor will check to see if your uterine lining is functioning normally and whether your luteal phases are normal, among other things.
After determining what you might need to get pregnant, your doctor will prescribe female infertility treatment. Some fertility drugs help to trigger ovulation. Other fertility pills or hormones help prepare your uterus for pregnancy. Still other female infertility treatment helps to prevent premature ovulation and to enhance high-tech fertility treatments like IVF.
Surgery for female infertility treatment
Your doctor may prescribe surgery as a female infertility treatment. Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes account for a large percent of all fertility problems. Surgical procedures can heal blockages in the tubes, helping women with tubal issues get pregnant.
Surgery can also alleviate problems with scar tissue, which is often a problem for women with endometriosis.
Female infertility treatment is an ART
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) consists of one or more of the following procedures:
- Withdrawing one or more of your eggs
- Fertilizing the egg with sperm outside of your body (in a lab)
- Transferring the egg and sperm or fertilized embryo back into your uterus where it will implant and grow
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most commonly used type of ART. This female infertility treatment has a pregnancy success rate similar to the rates of couples trying to get pregnant without assistance.
If your doctor recommends in vitro fertilization as female infertility treatment, read more about this procedure so you fully understand the amazing process.
Artificial insemination and female infertility treatment
Artificial insemination (AI) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) are other popular female infertility treatments. Insemination is used in a variety of common situations, like when your partner’s sperm isn’t able to fertilize your egg. Artificial insemination is less expensive than other high-tech types of female infertility treatment, and the success rates are quite high.
What about donor eggs or sperm?
If you need female infertility treatment to get pregnant, your doctor may suggest that you use a donor egg, donor sperm or a donor embryo to have a baby.
If you are not producing healthy eggs you may also consider using a surrogate. This is a woman who provides the egg(s) to be fertilized by your partner’s sperm and then she carries the baby to term. With these female infertility treatments, it’s important to have legal representation.
If you have healthy eggs but are unable to carry a baby to term, ask your doctor about a gestational carrier. With this female infertility treatment, your partner’s sperm will be used to fertilize your egg(s) outside of your uterus. Then, the healthy embryos will be transferred to the gestational carrier. Again, legal representation is necessary.
Age impacts female infertility treatment
If you are like many women today, you may be seeking female infertility treatment after years of trying to conceive. Or you may be waiting to start your family. That’s why the statistics of those undergoing female infertility treatments is higher than ever before.
By the mid-30s, many women have struggles trying to conceive. Even with female infertility treatment, older women may have more difficulty getting pregnant than younger women.
Ask your doctor for options on getting pregnant
Depending on your age or your fertility history, it may be time to consider female infertility treatment. Your fertility specialist or reproductive endocrinologist is educated in the latest research and patient care for female infertility treatment. The doctor can explain all the options available – from baby-boosting fertility pills or hormones to artificial insemination to high-tech assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization.
American Pregnancy Association
American Society of Reproductive Medicine
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association