Fertility science is an extremely exciting field of study, and an even more exciting field to practice in. In recent years fertility treatments have enabled millions of couples all over the world to create families they would have otherwise been unable to. Our goal here at Viera Fertility Center is to understand the cause of your fertility troubles and find a solution that will bring you the happiness and joy only the family you have been dreaming of can bring. Depending on your unique set of circumstances some fertility treatments may be better for you than others. Today we’d like to discuss a few of the most popular fertility treatments available to help you better understand your options.
For a fertile couple there is only a 20 to 25 percent chance of conception every ovulation cycle. After six months, 60 percent of couples will successfully conceive without Assisted Reproductive Technology, ART. Roughly one in eight couples are unable to conceive after one year of trying. These couples often turn to fertility clinics for the answers. According to the CDC, 7.4 million women have received fertility treatment.
First Things First
The first thing we must discover is the cause of a couple’s infertility. At Viera Fertility Center, we perform tests on both partners to decide where best to start with fertility treatments. Samples from both the women and men are analyzed and examined to reveal the root of the problem. Roughly ⅓ of infertility factors lie within the woman, ⅓ are found in the male, and the final ⅓ are unfavorable conditions in both partners or the exact cause of infertility is unclear.
Once we learn what is causing infertility we can choose the most favorable path to conception. There are many options for couples, ranging from drug therapies to more serious surgical options. It is so important to choose the best option for your specific conditions because unnecessary fertility treatments can be expensive and unsuccessful.
Most couples seeking fertility treatment will do very well with drug therapies and less invasive procedures. Drug therapies are the most effective course of action when the semen is normal and there are no other reproductive abnormalities detected during testing. Drug therapies stimulate hormones or the ovaries themselves to mature and produce viable eggs during an ovulation cycle. Couples are offered a better chance of conceiving because the fertility drugs have provided an ideal environment for egg fertilization. Drug therapy doesn’t work for all couples however. Sometimes more invasive procedures are necessary to ensure a successful embryo.
The two most well known fertility treatments are In Vitro fertilization and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, IVF and ICSI respectively. These two treatments bring the sperm and egg in direct contact with one another to achieve fertilization before they are implanted into the woman’s uterus. While these therapies work under the same principal the reasons for using each is very different.
The process of IVF is long and stressful. After eggs and sperm are collected from the couple they are mixed together in a petri dish. Often several embryos will emerge and they are implanted into the uterus where they may latch onto the uterine lining and continue to mature. IVF is a very helpful treatment in infertility cases where the woman may have blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, or other unexplained issues.
ICSI is very similar to IVF except that fertility doctors use special tools to physically inject a single sperm into the cytoplasm of the egg cell. This method insures that sperm and egg will meet and is used most successfully when infertility is caused by low quality sperm, or decreased sperm motility.
While it may seem like choosing ICSI over IVF every time could ensure that eggs are fertilized, there is some controversy in the fertility world over this practice. Upon learning that ICSI is on the rise for couples all across the globe, the editor-in-chief of the world’s leading reproductive journal cautioned that this practice may not be in the best interest of the patient. Citing that examining each couple seeking ART an individual case and addressing their problems correctly is much safer It also produces better outcomes than trying to be “Santa Claus” and using ICSI to produce embryos.
Here at Viera Fertility Center, we agree that the best way to help couples is by addressing their needs and choosing the best assisted reproductive technologies based on the results of the tests we perform. If you and your partner are having difficulty creating your family, schedule an appointment today.