Fertility treatments range from basic fertility drugs to the most advanced forms of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) like gestational surrogacy. To find out which of these procedures is right for you, you should first consult a fertility doctor.
Fertility Drugs can be used to treat women with ovulation disorders, or to sync ovulation with a fertility treatment cycle. Oral drugs, like Clomid, or injectable gonadotropins, like Follistim, promote ovarian follicle growth either. The leading follicles will ovulate one or more eggs in a timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycle. Multiple follicles may be aspirated in an egg retrieval as performed with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Reproductive Surgery could include scar tissue (usually from Endometriosis), fibroid, or polyp removal via laparoscopic surgery. Women may be able to conceive naturally after reproductive surgery, or may need other forms of fertility treatment thereafter.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is performed as a first line treatment for male factor infertility, for lesbian couples, or for those who have been unsuccessful with timed intercourse. Sperm is provided by the male partner or a donor, is washed, and then placed inside the uterus via catheter. Since IUI bypasses the cervix and eliminates the need for sperm to swim toward the ovulating egg, it may be recommended for couples with sperm motility issues.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is a more advanced form of ART where the eggs are stimulated and retrieved directly from a woman’s ovaries. The eggs are then fertilized in a lab with the male partner or donor’s sperm and embryos are created. The healthiest embryo(s) are then transferred into the intended mother’s uterus several days later. IVF may be recommended for individuals who have been unable to conceive through other means, lesbian couples looking to do reciprocal IVF, or those using donor gametes to build their family. To read more about what happens during an IVF cycle, click here.
Donor eggs, donor sperm, or donor embryos are available to those undergoing fertility treatments for a variety of reasons. If you have been unable to conceive with your own eggs or sperm, are seeking single parenthood, or are in a same-sex relationship, donor gametes might be a viable family building option for you.
Gestational surrogates, or gestational carriers, may carry and deliver a pregnancy for another individual or couple. Typically, a surrogate is used in instances where a woman is unable to carry the pregnancy herself. Surrogacy for gay men is also a family building option.