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Infertility Treatment Options

There are a number of infertility treatment options available for men and women looking to conceive. Here are details on some of the most common options.

Assisted hatching – If the outside shell (zona pellucida) of the embryo is thick, we can open a small hole in it. The egg wall can be thick due to the advanced age of the mother, or to some other reason in her health history. This is done on day three after egg retrieval.

Donor sperm inseminations (AID) – AID is an infertility treatment option that uses anonymous donor sperm selected by the patient to help her become pregnant. A small tube called a catheter is used to put the sperm right into the uterus and done in the clinic by a doctor or trained nurse. It takes about 15 minutes after which you will need to lie down for 20 minutes more. You may feel some cramping and notice some vaginal spotting after the procedure.

AID is done around day 10 to 16. The exact day will depend on your plan of care, lab work and ultrasound results. We will tell you the exact appointment time for the procedure. The sperm sample comes from the sperm bank frozen and is thawed the same day as the procedure.

Frozen embryo transfer cycle (FET) - If you have frozen embryos the next step is a FET cycle. Frozen embryos are thawed and then placed into the uterus.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injections (ICSI) – ICSI is an infertility treatment option that uses the same methods as standard IVF, with one key change. Instead of growing the egg and sperm together in a dish, the egg is placed under a microscope. The sperm is injected right into the egg. ICSI helps couples with issues like low sperm count, low motility of the sperm and changes in the sperm.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) – IUI uses a small tube called a catheter to put the sperm right into the uterus. This will help your chance of getting pregnant and is done in the clinic by a doctor or trained nurse. It takes about 15 minutes after which you need to lie down for 20 minutes more. You may feel some cramping and notice some vaginal spotting after the procedure

IUI is done around day 10 to 16. The exact day will depend on your plan of care, lab work and ultrasound results. We will tell you the exact appointment time for the man to leave a sample and for the woman’s procedure. The sperm sample is needed the same day as the procedure. The sample will be processed in the lab to separate and concentrate the sperm that move the most. This takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) – This procedure is done in the doctor’s office. It involves taking eggs from the woman’s ovaries and adding sperm in the lab. If the eggs are fertilized, they are put in the uterus. IVF can help with:

  • Damaged tubes
  • Severe endometriosis
  • Cervix problems
  • Low sperm count
  • Diminished ovarian reserve – few eggs
  • Infertility with an unknown cause

Myomectomy – A myomectomy surgery removes fibroids from the uterus. Fibroids are common, non-cancerous tumors in the uterus. Sometimes fibroids make it difficult to become pregnant. A common cause of fibroids is having more than one miscarriage. This surgery may increase the chances for pregnancy for many women, but not all. Sometimes the fibroid may be made smaller by taking a hormone before surgery.

Ovulation induction with oral medicationsOral medications are used to help women mature and ovulate an egg. Medications are usually taken for five days at the beginning of your cycle. Ultrasounds and blood tests are then used to monitor the egg as it matures. Once the provider determines the egg is ready, a subcutaneous injection is given to trigger ovulation of that egg. Ovulation happens approximately 38 to 40 hours after the injection.

Ovulation kits - Start testing for ovulation on cycle day 10 with the Clearblue Digital kit. On the day you see a smiley face, abstain from intercourse and schedule an IUI for the next day. If you don't see a smiley face after seven days of testing, call the office to schedule an appointment for blood work and an ultrasound to check your cycle.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)/ Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) - Parents at risk of passing on a genetic disorder to a child may choose to have genetic screening done.

PGD includes procedures performed on embryos prior to implantation during IVF. Sometimes the egg or sperm can be tested prior to fertilization. This method significantly decreases the chances of having a baby born affected by the particular disease.

PGS is different from PGD in that these procedures don't look for a specific disease, instead they use techniques to identify embryos at risk.

Superovulation with injections - FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) is a subcutaneous injection used to help women mature and ovulate an egg. The injection is usually taken for a specific period of time at the beginning of your cycle. Ultrasounds and blood tests are then used to monitor the egg as it matures. Once the provider determines the egg is ready, a subcutaneous injection is given to trigger ovulation of that egg. Ovulation happens approximately 38 to 40 hours after the injection.

Timed intercourse – Timed intercourse is when a provider tries to determine when ovulation will occur. This can be done with or without a trigger injection shot. Once the provider determines the egg is ready, a subcutaneous injection is given to trigger ovulation of that egg. Ovulation happens approximately 38 to 40 hours after the injection. If a natural cycle is chosen, the provider will determine when the best time to have intercourse would be.

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