Approximately, 15 to 20 percent of married couples have difficulty trying to get pregnant. One in every six couples of reproductive age experience some degree of infertility. When a couple has unprotected sex for one year but is unable to conceive, they should examine infertility treatment options. The infertility treatment options nowadays are many and varied. Treatments range from nutritional supplements, drug therapies, surgery, to more advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF) combined with donor egg programs. These four fertility options are described in more detail below.
Nutritional Supplements - Natural Remedies
Vitamins and minerals are nature's remedy for treating and reducing symptoms of infertility. The scientific community has gained a great deal of knowledge regarding the use of nutritional supplements for both men and women who struggle with infertility.
For example, the beneficial effects of folic acid, fenugreek, ginseng, honey, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C on both male and female fertility have been extensively researched.
Fertility Drugs - Hormonal Therapy
In women, ovulation disorders can be a primary cause of infertility. Women with ovulation disorders are first treated with fertility drugs. Fertility drugs or hormonal therapy work to either induce or tightly regulate ovulation. The three most commonly prescribed fertility drugs are clomiphene citrate, metformin hydrochloride, and gonadotrophins. These three drugs assist conception by helping ovulation to occur in different ways. Clomiphene citrate increases the level of two hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which both play essential roles in ovulation. Metformin hydrochloride lowers the level of testosterone in a woman's body making it easier for her to ovulate. The special name for the FSH and LH sex hormones is gonadotropins. Women can receive injections of gonadotropins to stimulate their ovaries to produce more eggs.
There are both male and female fertility surgeries. When a man has a very low sperm count sometimes it is due to obstruction in the sperm's passageway. Surgeons can perform microsurgery on men to clear the obstruction. Female fertility surgery can address a number of issues including endometriosis, tubal microsurgery, removal of fibroids, or correction of uterine abnormalities.
IVF and Egg Donation
In IVF, an egg and sperm are joined in a laboratory setting and then the fertilized egg is inserted into the prospective mother. Egg donation programs like the one at Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine (MCRM Fertility) make IVF treatments available to a wide-range of soon-to-be mothers. For their donor egg program, MCRM Fertility has partnered with the Donor Egg Bank USA. The program pairs thoroughly screened and tested egg donors with egg recipients. Egg recipients are women who, for one reason or another, cannot conceive a child utilizing their own eggs. The donor egg program at MCRM Fertility is one of the nation's most comprehensive programs. A basic package includes one lot of frozen donor eggs, the thawing of those frozen eggs, the insemination and assisted hatching, as well as all the required ultrasounds and blood work throughout the treatment cycle.
A diagnosis of infertility doesn't mean becoming pregnant is impossible. In fact, a vast majority of infertility cases are treatable. It's important for an infertile couple to seek out medical professionals who can evaluate their reproductive potential and facilitate appropriate treatments.