How to get Pregnant » Infertility Treatment

Infertility Treatment

How to Get Pregnant

After trying to get pregnant for a period of time, many couples get discouraged and either stop trying, or continue on to seek the help of a professional infertility specialist. Although this can be an expensive undertaking, if the desire to have children is strong enough, many couples find a way to handle the cost. Success may not be realized on the first attempt, but there are a number of treatments available. These infertility treatments range from pharmaceuticals to surgical procedures, and often times more than one method is attempted before eventual success. Infertility treatments are sometimes referred to as 'reproductive assistance.'

Step 1: Get an Accurate Diagnosis

The first in determining whether or not infertility treatments are right for you would be to get an accurate diagnosis from a fertility specialist. Only a qualified physician can make that assessment and prescribe the best course of treatment to assist in getting pregnant. While there may be nothing biologically wrong, it is essential to get an accurate diagnosis in order to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Sometimes it's nothing more than stress or the presence of bacteria in the vagina that are killing sperm before they can reach the ova. This can't be ascertained until a doctor has done a complete workup.

Step 2: Fertility Drugs & Hormones

There are a number of fertility drugs and hormones on the market that have shown varying degrees of success. Some of the most common pharmaceuticals would include Bromocriptine Mesylate, Clomiphene Citrate, Recombinant FSH, Medroxyprogesterone Acetate, Progesterone, Human Menopausal Gonadotropins, Human FSH, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Analog, and even Viagra is on the list. Again, only your physician can prescribe and/or administer these substances so the first step would be to consult a specialist.

Step 3: Artificial Insemination - Intracervical Insemination

Artificial insemination is a process where live sperm are collected from the male and implanted into the female in order to facilitate conception. Intracervical Insemination (ICI) is the less invasive of the two common forms of this treatment. The sperm are injected into the mouth of the uterus, the cervix, during peak time of ovulation. The success rate is 2% higher with each successive cycle.

Step 4: Artificial Insemination - Intrauterine Insemination

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is more successful than Intracervical Insemination because fresh, live sperm are implanted within the uterus, not just in the cervix. With each successive cycle, there is a 5% greater chance of getting pregnant. Should either of these methods fail, there are other means available that would combine the ova and sperm of the couple.

Step 5: In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer (IVF/ET)

The process of In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer involves harvesting eggs from the mother and sperm from the father. They are combined outside the body under strict laboratory conditions in a Petri dish with the intent of fertilization. Once fertilization is observed, the embryo is then transferred to the uterus where, if all goes well, the baby will grow to term for a normal pregnancy and delivery. Should this method fail, there is yet another breakthrough In vitro fertilization method that has a higher success rate.

Step 6: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is one of the most innovative forms of assisted reproduction methods. It is a form of In vitro fertilization that requires the women to take specific drugs to potentiate superovulation. Eggs are harvested and observed so that the most viable can be utilized in the procedure. As in the normal In vitro process, sperm are also collected from the father and observed for viability. At this point, the select eggs and sperm are combined in a Petri dish and then a sperm is literally 'sucked' into a pipette and injected into the egg. The eggs are then inspected at 12 and 24 hours to determine viable embryos which are then implanted in the uterus.

Prior to seeking other, more radical treatments, most couples attempt to get pregnant with their own eggs and sperm. Unfortunately, there are times when one partner is simply infertile and incapable of producing offspring. At this point sperm donors and surrogate mothers can be sought, but most fertility specialists will exhaust these possibilities first. Modern science and research is finding breakthrough technologies and treatments that make getting pregnant easier than it has ever been. Infertility specialists can be found online or through a referral from your own physician. This is a growing field, so finding a specialist in your area should not be too difficult.