If you are over 35 and have been trying for over 6 months, or under age 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for over a year, the ASRM guidelines recommend having an evaluation.a
A conversation with a fertility specialist may help you understand the different options that are available. Below are just some of the common fertility treatment options available.
Fertility Treatment Options
One of the most common causes of female infertility is the failure to ovulate (release eggs). And without ovulation, pregnancy cannot happen. Signs of ovulation problems include a generally irregular cycle or an absence of menstruation. Fortunately, even if an egg is not normally released from the ovaries on a monthly basis, it may be possible to induce it with controlled ovarian stimulation.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)c
In vitro fertilization may often come to mind when people think about infertility treatments.
The basic idea is that fertilization (union of sperm and egg) and embryo transfer (placement of the embryo into the uterus) takes place in the laboratory of the fertility clinic.
There are 3 distinct parts of IVF:
- Egg Retrieval — During this process, ovaries are stimulated to release mature eggs that will later be used in fertilization.
- Fertilization — A sperm sample is taken from your partner, and then used for fertilization in the lab. After successful fertilization, the new embryo continues to grow and divide in the lab for approximately 3 to 5 days.
- Embryo transfer — After 3 to 5 days, the embryo transfer takes place.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)d
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a technique that is used in the fertilization process. The basic procedure involves injecting a single sperm into an egg using a microscope and specialized instruments. ICSI is often used in cases of severe male infertility and may be used when the reason for infertility is unknown.
- a Definition of fertility specialist according to ASRM.
- b Definition of ovulation induction according to Stanford University Medical Center, 2011.
- c Definition of in vitro fertilization according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.
- d Definition of intracytoplasmic sperm injection according to ASRM, approved in February 2008.