Learn more about available fertility treatments out there because infertility shouldn’t stop you from having a child.
In this article:
- Fertility Drugs
- Laparoscopy and Laparotomy
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
- In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- Donor Eggs, Embryos, and Sperm
- Gestational Surrogacy
7 Fertility Treatments for Parents Who Want to Conceive
1. Fertility Drugs
There are two main types of fertility drugs: clomiphene and gonadotropins. Both rework your reproductive hormones to release more eggs during ovulation. If you’re experiencing irregular menstrual cycles (a common symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS), these medications may be right for you.
What is polycystic ovary syndrome? Women who have this condition usually produces above average amount of male hormones, which causes a hormonal imbalance and can make it harder for women to get pregnant.
Most women who take fertility drugs conceive by six months or move on to a different type of procedure. Women who conceive while taking fertility drugs have a greater chance of having twins or more.
Possible Side Effects: hot flashes, night sweats, rash swelling, mood swings, bloating, breast tenderness, excess mucus, headaches, nausea, depression.
Cost: The cost of fertility medications varies depending on where you live and your required dosage. Clomiphene pills range from $10 to $100 per month. Gonadotropins range between $1,000 to $5,000 per month.
2. Laparoscopy and Laparotomy
These two types of surgeries can fix many common causes of infertility including closed-off fallopian tubes, fibroids, excess tissue from endometriosis, and PCOS. Both procedures insert thin instruments and a camera into the abdominal incisions. Laparoscopy uses multiple small incisions, while laparotomy uses a single large incision.
Possible Side Effects: Because the abdomen is inflated, you may feel discomfort in your upper body following the procedure. You may also experience fatigue, headaches, and a sore throat from general anesthesia. After the procedure, you may experience some abdominal soreness.
Cost: The cost of these surgeries ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on which procedure is used and the cost of anesthesia, inpatient or outpatient care, and your insurance plan.
3. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
For most IUI procedures, the woman has at least one open and functional fallopian tube, and the man has an issue with the motility, shape, or count of his sperm. The doctor takes a sample of high-potential sperm and transfers it to the uterus via a catheter.
The timing of the insemination depends on your ovulation cycle. As such, blood tests and ultrasounds are performed to determine the window of opportunity. Many women who opt for IUI take fertility medications like clomiphene and gonadotropins to stimulate ovulation.
Possible Side Effects: The most common side effect of IUI is cramping for 1-2 days following the insemination. You may also experience mood swings and/or breast tenderness. Women who undergo IUI have a higher risk of conceiving twins or more and developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
Cost: Most IUI procedures cost between $300 to $500, not including the cost of fertility medications.
4. In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
If you have endometriosis, blocked Fallopian tubes, or have a history of unsuccessful pregnancies, you may benefit from IVF. During the procedure, your eggs are removed from your ovaries and fertilized with sperm from your partner or a donor. One or more embryos are then placed into your uterus.
Possible Side Effects: You may feel cramping or spotting following removal of your eggs and receipt of the embryo. Many women take gonadotropins to facilitate IVF, which may come with side effects including breast soreness, mood swings, bloating, and nausea.
Cost: The base cost of IVF starts at $6,000 per cycle and increases based on optional add-ons and if the eggs or embryos are frozen. If you use your own eggs and your partner’s sperm, the total cost will be around $12,000 per cycle.
RELATED: What Is A Surrogate Mother?
5. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Doctors recommend ICSI if the male has fertility issues or complications arise during IVF. The process involves injecting a high-potential sperm into an egg and transferring it to your uterus. A surgical needle draws the sperm from your partner, who is placed under local anesthesia.
Possible Side Effects: Side effects and risks are similar to those of IVF. In addition, your partner should avoid strenuous physical activity for a week or more following the drawing of sperm.
Cost: ICSI typically costs $1,500 on top of the cost of IVF.
6. Donor Eggs, Embryos, and Sperm
Through IVF, a donor egg fertilized with your partner’s sperm is transferred to your uterus. You can also have your egg fertilized with donor sperm. You may have to take medications to prepare your uterine lining for pregnancy before the transfer process.
If you transfer multiple embryos, you have a greater chance of conceiving twins. It may also take some time to choose the donor.
Cost: The cost of a donor procedure varies depending on the type of cycle chosen. A frozen donor embryo cycle costs between $5,000 and $9,000. A frozen donor egg cycle costs about $16,000. A fresh donor egg cycle costs between $20,000 and $30,000.
7. Gestational Surrogacy
Gestational surrogacy occurs when a gestational mother carries an embryo to term and signs away her rights to custody of the child. Because of the complexities surrounding this method, it can be emotionally and financially costly.
Choosing a trusted carrier takes extreme care and patience. The carrier must carefully monitor her diet and lifestyle in the same manner as a standard pregnancy. Gestational surrogacy is often used if medical issues are present or for same-sex couples.
It can take some time to find a qualified carrier. The act of carrying, birthing, and giving away a child requires a great deal of commitment and selflessness.
Cost: Gestational surrogacy is a costly process, with most agencies charging around $150,000. The surrogate receives about 20 percent of the cost, with the remainder going to carrier and insurance costs, IVF, legal fees, and counseling.
Watch this video from Fortis Healthcare to know more about fertility treatments:
With such a wide variety of infertility treatments available, chances are, there’s a solution for you. If you and your spouse are trying to conceive but are having a hard time, talk to your doctor to learn more about the details of each treatment and determine which option is best for you.
Have you tried any of these fertility treatments before? Share your experience in the comments section!