Many people grow up dreaming of the day when they’ll meet their perfect partner, settle down, and start a family of their own, and becoming a parent is a major ambition for a lot of people. Unfortunately, while many couples have little to no problems with conception, there are still a lot of couples out there battling infertility issues in their relationships.
Indeed, statistics show that around 10% of Americans will experience fertility problems, with studies showing that up to 15% of couples can fail to conceive after a full year of unprotected sex. Naturally, this can be a stressful and worrying experience for the couples concerned, and many people can deal with anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems linked with fertility.
Fortunately, even if natural conception appears difficult or even impossible, there are still plenty of options out there for couples who want to have a child and are encountering difficulties with the process. In fact, there are more options than ever before in the modern world, and this guide will explore a few of the most commonly chosen methods.
Fertility Enhancing Drugs
Typically, when a couple speaks with their doctor about infertility, one of the first recommendations the doctor will make, after carrying out fertility tests on both partners in order to discover more about the issue, is fertility-enhancing drugs. These drugs can be given to both men and women and might be all a couple needs to achieve a traditional conception.
There are various types of fertility drugs, including Clomid, hormone injections, and Antagon, and they can have a range of different effects on male and female bodies. They may, for example, boost sperm production or raise the quality of sperm in a man, or could thicken the uterine lining and stimulate the ovulation process in a woman. Your doctor will be able to help you learn more and make the right choice.
Medically Assisted Reproduction
Couples who are experiencing fertility problems will usually undergo a course of fertility drugs first to see if they can conceive with the help of the medication. However, if the fertility problems persist, a more direct method may be considered, and this is where medically-assisted reproduction techniques can be used.
An example of these techniques is in vitro fertilization, in which sperm and egg cells are taken from the couple, combined together in a lab environment, and then the fertilized egg is placed back into the woman’s body, which can lead to pregnancy. Other options may include intrauterine insemination, in which sperm from the male partner is inserted directly into the uterus, or gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT).
There are cases in which one partner is simply physically unable to produce a viable egg or sperm to create an embryo and trigger the fertilization process, even with the aid of fertility drugs and other methods. In these cases, a donor may be a good option. Donors can provide sperm, eggs, or even fertilized embryos when both partners are infertile.
The donated material can then be used to trigger the pregnancy, and this option usually allows the fertile member of the couple to still have their DNA present in the embryo. This is also a commonly used method to assist same-sex couples who want to have children, allowing one partner’s genetic material to be passed down to the baby.
There may be cases in which the female partner of a heterosexual couple is unable to carry a baby due to health reasons or physical limitations. Or there are cases where same-sex male couples require the assistance of a female to carry their child. Surrogacy is a common option here, in which an embryo is created using genetic material from one or both partners, or donated if this isn’t possible, and then inserted into the body of the surrogate.
The surrogate is then able to carry the child as it grows and deliver it for the couple. Surrogates may have some kind of social or familial connection with the couple, or maybe total strangers, and have no real contact with them once the baby has been delivered. The specifics of the situation can be worked out for the couple based on their own needs and preferences.
It’s important to know that people who are experiencing infertility issues don’t need to suffer alone and shouldn’t feel like they cannot be parents. In today’s world, there are many different solutions for fertility problems and plenty of ways for moms and dads to be made.