When roadblocks to fertility appear, it can be challenging to know where to begin. However, recent advancements in Assisted Reproductive Technology, or ART, have made great strides in making it possible for hopeful parents to create the family they’ve always dreamed of. From sperm donation to in vitro fertilization (IVF), there are many paths you can take to conceive. This process is all about finding what works best for you and your family – time, cost, medical history, and commitment all factor into this decision. Knowing what is out there will help narrow your options down. But what exactly is out there?
IUI, also known as intrauterine insemination, is a common first option in an individual’s journey. IUI is popular amongst women with endometriosis, irregular cycles, or other fertility challenges. Sperm is deposited into the uterus via a catheter, getting the sperm closer to the egg and allowing for easier fertilization. Conceiving via IUI is a more cost-effective, faster procedure than other fertility treatments, and is minimally invasive.
In Vitro Fertilization
IVF is often reserved when other methods such as fertility drugs and intrauterine insemination haven’t worked. During in vitro, multiple eggs are retrieved from the intended mother and fertilized in a lab. The IVF process includes access to genetic testing of embryos–a small biopsy of an embryo is taken after it has grown to over 100 cells and will be tested for possible genetic disorders. This will allow the healthy embryo to be transferred to the intended mother or egg donor’s uterus.
According to the CDC, IVF is the most effective method of assisted reproduction and is growing more common. Despite its popularity, IVF can be a demanding medical process. Depending on your medical history and your expectations about starting a family, IVF may be the best path for you.
A more affordable option for intended parents is Minimal Stimulation IVF, or “Mini IVF”. This is often less stressful than traditional IVF because it requires less involvement from the patient. Natural IVF takes less time and carries a lowered risk of multiples. This is a wonderful option for those looking for a lower-cost approach with fewer medical commitments.
Candidates for egg or sperm donation may not be able to conceive with their own egg or sperm due to age or reproductive conditions. People over 40, those with low ovarian reserve, as well as women who suffer from conditions like endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome all benefit from this process.
IVF and third-party reproduction have been around since the 1970s, and a 2019 review of 25 studies found no significant evidence of an increased risk of invasive ovarian cancer associated with the use of fertility drugs. There is still work to be done as far as more supportive research, but at this time there is little to no evidence to support a heightened risk of infertility or disease linked to fertility treatment.
If you have not found success conceiving, or just looking for what options are out there, contact The Prelude Network today!