For some, the pitter patter of little feet is an unexpected surprise. For others the path to parenthood is one fraught with frustration, sadness and disappointment. Therefore, fertility clinics worldwide have seen an increase in clientele. But just what do fertility treatments involve and what can you expect?
Some Types of Fertility Treatments
IVF (in vitro fertilization)
IVF is a procedure that involves removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them outside her body. The resulting embryos are then transferred into her uterus through the cervix.
AI (artificial insemination)
In this procedure semen is introduced into the female reproductive organs by other than natural means. Often, many patients try AI as an option before the procedures described below.
MACS (magnetic-activated cell sorting)
A procedure that allows for the selection of healthy spermatozoa with the best characteristics for fertilization. They are separated from apoptotic spermatozoa – those that will die without being able to fertilize the egg.
ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection)
Another procedure is ICSI in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.
Among the causes of female infertility are an ovulation disorder, blocked Fallopian tubes, or endometriosis. Male infertility is often associated with little or no sperm production.
Things to consider
Emotional/psychological problems: Going through IVF treatment can be a highly emotive and stressful experience.
Multiple births: Studies have shown that multiple births – a result of multiple embryos transferred into the womb – increase the chances of premature birth, low birth weight, stillbirth, and long-term disability.
The child: High oestrogen levels associated with high stimulation IVF can increase the risk of prematurity and low birth weight in babies.
Mother’s health: Complications from hormonal treatment or a multiple-fetus pregnancy increase the risks for mothers.
Ethical issues: The idea of selecting some embryos and potentially discarding others may not sit well with everybody.
If you consider fertility treatments we recommend you to make an appointment with a specialist in this field. This way you can discuss the various personalised options and treatments available. An expert will help you with your questions and concerns.