You’ve had the discussion. You’ve weighed the costs and economics of becoming a parent. And you’ve determined that now is the right time to not only start a family but to employ the services of a highly-rated fertility clinic to help make it possible. Starting a family now means you’ll be that much closer to feeling complete – with a baby in your arms and the indescribable feeling of being a parent. If you’re committed to starting a family in the new year and are ready to begin fertility treatments, here are some of the options you can consider:
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
There are four steps to the IVF process: stimulation, retrieval, fertilization, and transfer. Stimulation refers to prompting the production of multiple eggs by introducing therapeutic hormones into the woman’s system. In the retrieval phase, the fertility specialist will use a mild anesthetic, then employ ultrasound guidance to retrieve mature eggs using an aspiration needle. The embryologist will then move the eggs to a dish in preparation for the fertilization step. In this part of the process, sperm is introduced to the egg in one of two ways: naturally or by an intracytoplasmic injection, wherein the sperm are injected directly into the egg. The final phase is transfer, and this involves moving fertilized eggs into a triple gas incubator, then into the woman’s uterus after 3-5 days.
IVF is one of the most effective ways to create a successful pregnancy when a couple is facing fertility issues. If desired, the woman can choose a gestational carrier who will carry the baby to term. Egg donor options are also available if the birth mother is unable to produce viable eggs. Your fertility doctor will discuss all available options with you from the outset.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
This fertility treatment is usually reserved for couples that are having fertility issues on the male side. Either the male isn’t creating an adequate supply of sperm, or the woman is having problems with the ovulation cycle. In either case, IUI aims to remove the process of the sperm having to swim through the cervix and instead uses a catheter to introduce viable sperm to the entrance of the fallopian tubes, where they can more easily fertilize the egg. A positive benefit of this treatment option is that it doesn’t cause much discomfort and generally requires no anesthesia – the catheter is quite small. IUI can also be used in conjunction with fertility treatments and doctor monitoring to ensure matured eggs are available for fertilization.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injections (ICSI)
Most couples that are introduced to the world of fertility treatments often think ICSI is a simple process. In reality, this seemingly simple fertility treatment requires highly trained embryologists and ideal conditions to provide a positive outcome. The doctor will provide the female patient with stimulating hormones about 10 days prior to retrieving the eggs. After retrieving the eggs and placing viable eggs into a dish, the doctor will then insert a live sperm cell into the ovum, where it will ideally fertilize the egg.
Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH)
One common cause of infertility is an absence of eggs or lack of ovulation. But by introducing specific medicinal compounds, a fertility specialist can induce ovulation and foster egg production, leading to a greater chance of a successful pregnancy. This stimulation can be achieved by using either pills (most commonly used are Letrozole and Clomid) or injectable medications (Gonal-f or Follistim).
By stimulating the production of eggs, embryologists can then move on to the next steps in the fertility treatment process and support the woman in her desire to become pregnant.
Fertility concerns are real for millions of couples around the world. By working closely with a leading team of fertility specialists, you and your partner may be able to dramatically increase your odds of conceiving during the New Year.