Fertility problems are increasingly common nowadays due to our lifestyle; health problems and environment are factors that sometimes result in families requiring help to conceive.
If you are a young woman and had unprotected sex (without using birth control) with your partner for over a year or you are a woman over 35 years old and have unprotected sex for over 6 months without getting pregnant, then you or your partner may have a fertility problem. Some of the problems are easily corrected by improving the lifestyle, eating healthy food, being more active, quitting smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation and quitting using drugs. Other issues require a different approach.
If you improved your lifestyle, then had sexual intercourse on your ovulation day (using menstrual cycle calendars) for several months and still have no results, then, you may want consider seeing a fertility specialist.
If you’re considering fertility treatment, you should be aware of the following:
- It’s not a 100% proof;
- When it works it can result in multiple pregnancies - high risk of premature labor and delivery;
- The child may present health problems;
- The cost.
Fertility treatment options:
Drug administration and/or hormones that stimulate ovulation;
Tubal surgery - a laparoscopic procedure that treats the fallopian tubes’ conditions, as path blockage of the egg to the sperm or the pass of the fertilized egg to the uterus.
If drugs failed, another option is laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis (a condition when the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of it, more frequently in the ovaries, which can be the cause of infertility);
Medication - drugs that can improve testicular function and therefore the production of sperm;
Surgery - an intervention that treats the sperm blockage and other male reproductive system problems that cause infertility;
Sperm retrieval - a procedure used when there is an ejaculation problem or no sperm is in the ejaculated fluid. Usually performed when assisted reproductive techniques are planned.
Assisted reproductive technology
ART uses a lot of measures to ensure pregnancy:
- Fertility medication - drugs that stimulate ovulation;
- Artificial insemination (aka intrauterine insemination) - the objective is to transfer sperm into the uterus. The procedure can be:
- Performed at home with a special conception cap, filled with your partner’s sperm that is placed onto the cervix and left there for about an hour. This cap protects the sperm from the acidic secretions of the vagina.
- Performed at a specialized clinic using a needleless syringe to insert the sperm into the cervix or the uterus. The sperm for this procedure is either fresh provided by your partner that undergoes a special “washing” procedure, to select the most viable sperm, or frozen. The sperm can also be obtained from a donor if your partner is not able to provide viable sperm, or when single women or lesbian couples want to conceive.
- In vitro fertilization IVF - a technique in which the female egg is fertilized by male sperm outside the female body (in vitro), and then the fertilized egg (zygote) is implanted in the woman’s uterus. The process is complex and involves several steps:
- Stimulating and monitoring the woman’s ovulatory process. After stimulation, a woman can have more than one egg used for fertilization;
- Surgically removing the eggs from the woman’s ovaries;
- Clinical treating the sperm to obtain the most viable one;
- Letting the sperm to fertilize the eggs in a special liquid in the laboratory;
- The zygote is left for 2-6 days in a special growth medium to become an embryo;
- Embryo transfer - the embryo is implanted into the woman’s uterus, guided by ultrasound. For a more successful rate some specialists prefer to implant more than one fertilized egg, usually two or three, which increases the chances of pregnancy, but also of multiple pregnancies.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection ICSI - a similar technique to IVF but only a single healthy sperm is injected (with a special tiny needle) directly into the mature egg, in laboratory conditions, then implanting the zygote into the woman’s uterus. The procedure is usually used when viable sperm is scarce.
- Gamete intrafallopian transfer - the procedure consists of mixing the mature egg with the sperm in the laboratory, and then introducing the mixture into the fallopian tubes by laparoscopic surgery. This way the fertilization can occur naturally in the woman’s body. The procedure is rarely used because of the low efficiency rate compared to IVF and ICSI.
- Surrogacy - the process of carrying a pregnancy for intended parents by a third party. The surrogacy can be:
- Gestational surrogacy - the pregnancy occurs from implanting an IVF embryo into the uterus of a woman that has no genetic relationship to the baby. The woman is only carrying the pregnancy for a certain couple.
- Traditional surrogacy - the impregnation can be natural or artificial, but the embryo is genetically related to the surrogate mother.
Fertility Treatment Related Services
Providers that provide Fertility Treatment Service
|Gryshchenko Clinic - IVF (GC-IVF)||
|Dunya Ivf Clinic||
|Op. Dr. Nezih Durmazlar||
|Feskov Human Reproduction Group||
|ADONIS - medical group of companies||
|BioTexCom Medical Center||
|Vithas Xanit International Hospital||
|Irega IVF Clinic||
|Medpark International Hospital||
|Royal Berkshire Hospital||
|German Heart Centre||
|1||United Arab Emirates|
|California Fertility Partners||