The treatment options available to infertile couples
Discovering that you have an infertility problem can be very stressful. You become faced with many difficult decisions to make. Infertility can be treated in many ways, including Expectant management, which involves supportively offering an individual or couple information and advice about the regularity and timing of intercourse and any lifestyle changes, which might improve their chances of conceiving. It does not involve active clinical or therapeutic intervention. Medical treatment to restore fertility such as the use of drugs for ovulation induction. Surgical treatment surgery such as laparoscopy for treatment of endometriosis or surgery to unblock the fallopian tubes, and Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF. There are usually five options available to choose:
- To purse having a biological child with infertility treatment such as: ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination, IVF, ICSI, GIFT and surgery, etc.
- Try to have a child who is biologically related to one partner only e.g. using donated eggs or donor sperm and surrogacy.
- Try to have a child who is biologically not related to either partner through embryo donation.
- Accepting child-free living (stay childless).
After various examinations and investigations, your doctor may be able to diagnose the problem and offer some form of treatment, taking into account many factors such as: the woman's age, cause of infertility, how long they have been trying for a baby, previous pregnancy and the cost of treatment.
The goal of all fertility treatment should be to maximize the opportunity for a live birth of a healthy singleton child, born at full-term. This is the safest and best outcome for both the mother and the baby.
The decision regarding the management of your infertility is yours and yours alone and it should take into account your individual needs and preferences. It should be noted that the provision of fertility treatments at public health services varies greatly from country to country and even in the same country from region to region. Before you agree to a fertility treatment, we recommend that you consider the following questions:
What is the cause of your infertility?
Why and how the treatment will be given?
What are the alternatives?
What is your chance of achieving a pregnancy and a live birth without treatment and how much will the proposed treatment improve your chances of success?
How much will the treatment cost?
What are the possible risks and complications?
How long will you have to undergo treatment in order to give it a reasonable chance to work?
Will the insurance cover the cost?
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