What are Female Infertility Treatments?
Female infertility treatments is the term used to denote the various medical approaches that are employed to treat women who have problems conceiving or difficulty getting pregnant. Female infertility treatments are offered by gynecologists and infertility specialists in dedicated clinics or hospitals.
How to Prepare for Female Infertility Treatment?
Before enrolling you for a female infertility treatment, your doctor will perform a thorough health check-up, including reviewing your medical history, present weight, clinical symptoms, blood tests, and lab reports.
- You will be given certain instructions to follow until the course of your treatment.
- You may have certain dietary restrictions.
- You should take your previous medications as per your doctor’s instructions.
- You will also be advised to quit smoking if you do smoke and perform regular exercise.
All of these instructions are given to maximize the success of the female infertility treatment.
How Does the Doctor Decides the Best Treatment for Female Infertility?
The choice of infertility treatment depends on certain factors such as:
- Cause of female infertility
- Age of the female and her partner
- How long the woman has been infertile
- Any other symptoms of female infertility
What are the Different Types of Female Infertility Treatments?
The different types of female infertility treatments include:
There are a special class of drugs that stimulate ovulation (release of eggs from the ovaries). These are called fertility drugs as they induce or regulate ovulation.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI):
Intrauterine insemination is a non-invasive procedure that involves the introduction of healthy sperm directly in the uterus a few days around ovulation: the period when the ovary releases one or more eggs. This is done to ensure the egg gets fertilized. This procedure can be based when your doctor has the information about your menstrual cycle, including the date when it begins and how long it lasts. Your doctor may also regulate your cycle with the help of medications to synchronize your menses with the date of IUI.
This surgery is performed on any of the female reproductive organs to restore fertility. Common surgical procedures include:
Hysteroscopic surgery – To treat uterine conditions such as endometrial polyps, fibroids, a uterine septum, or an intrauterine scar tissue
Laparoscopic surgery – To treat pelvic adhesions, Endometriosis, and larger fibroids
Some women may require a single therapy while others may require more than one therapy to improve their fertility. Each female is unique and requires personalized care and attention.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
Some women may also opt for assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART refers to such fertility treatments where the egg and sperm are fertilized in a lab and then implanted in the uterus or if the fertilized egg is grown in a surrogate mother and then the baby is given to the mother after the end of pregnancy.
Out of the different assisted reproductive techniques, the ones that are used for female fertility treatment include:
In-vitro Fertilization (IVF): In this procedure, ovaries are stimulated to release mature eggs, which are then collected at a suitable time, followed by cold storage under sterile conditions and then fertilizing them with sperm in a dish in a lab. After successfully fertilizing the eggs and sperm, the fertilized cell called a zygote is allowed to divide further and grow into an embryo. Based on suitability the embryo is implanted into the uterus to allow for natural growth and development.
Other techniques for assisted reproduction include:
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): In this procedure, a single healthy sperm is directly injected into a mature egg. ICSI is typically used when the male partner has poor sperm quality, does not produce adequate amounts of semen or previous IVF cycles have failed.
Assisted Implantation/Hatching: In this technique, the embryo is implanted into the lining of the uterus by opening the outer covering of the embryo. Hence the name hatching.
What are the Risks and Complications of Female Infertility Treatments?
Some of the risks and complications associated with female infertility treatments may include:
- Multiple pregnancy, i.e. birth of twins, triplets, or more
- Premature labor and delivery
- Risk of gestational diabetes
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Overstimulation of the ovaries
- Hormonal changes