Choosing Infertility Treatments for Male and Female Problems

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1:02 pm December 14, 2011

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There is a range of infertility treatments used to reverse the problem. They all depend on the cause of infertility, the age of both partners, and how long they have been trying to conceive. Infertility treatments also vary in how they are administered, how much they costs, and how effective they are.

Infertility Treatments for Women

1.    Fertility Drugs

Fertility drugs are the most common type of treatment for women. They target those who are having difficulties getting pregnant because of a failure to ovulate. This is the result of hormonal imbalances that can be treated by incorporating synthetic hormones into the system. There are various kinds of fertility drugs:

  • Clomiphene. It works by stimulating the pituitary gland to produce more follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) to induce the release of a mature egg.
  • Gonadotropins. There are several kinds of gonadotropins, but they all work by triggering the release of FSH and LH. Unlike clomiphene, which is taken orally, however, gonadotropins are injected right under the skin and stimulate the ovaries, not the pituitary glands, themselves.
  • Metformin. One of the infertility treatments that are used for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is associated with insulin resistance and metformin is used to address this problem.

2.    Surgical Procedures

While these may not be the most common infertility treatments, they are particularly useful – and sometimes the only solution –to structural problems, such as adhesions or blockages in the fallopian tube that prevent the sperm cells from reaching the released egg cell for fertilization. There is higher risk for complications, but new surgical technologies, such as laparoscopic surgery have made it easier and safer to undergo invasive infertility treatments like these.

3.    Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

The first ART pregnancy took place in the 1960s when technicians in a laboratory extracted an egg cell from a woman’s uterus and fertilized it with a sperm cell on a laboratory dish. The result was a healthy embryo that was implanted into the woman’s uterus and grew into a normal, healthy person. This process is known as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and is the most common ART used in the United States. Every year, thousands of babies are conceived and born with the help of ART. Other infertility treatments like this are the following:

  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). This is done through the microscopic injection of a single sperm cell into an egg cell. It is usually performed in conjunction with IVF.
  • Assisted Hatching. One of the infertility treatments for women who can conceive but whose embryos fail to attach to the uterine lining. Assisted hatching involves opening the embryo’s outer opening to help it join itself to the endometrium.
  • Electric/Vibratory Stimulation for Ejaculation. Men who have spinal injuries and those who cannot achieve ejaculation by themselves undergo this treatment to produce semen.
  • Surgical Sperm Aspiration.If the testes is blocked, the doctor can extract sperm cells from other parts of the reproductive system, such as the vas deferens or the epididymis, through surgical sperm aspiration.

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