Have you and your partner been trying for a baby for months or years, but your nursery is still empty? You’re far from alone. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of couples in the United States are affected by infertility, a diagnosis that is usually given after trying to conceive for more than a year without success. If you’re ready to finally complete your family, here are four fertility treatments you should consider.
Diet and Fitness
It’s well known that being obese or underweight can disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle and hormonal balance, making it difficult to conceive. However, the male partner’s diet is also important. Deficiencies of essential nutrients like zinc and folic acid can reduce sperm quality, and obesity is a common risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Whether you’re providing the sperm or the egg, eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to maximize your chances of pregnancy.
Does fatigue, muscle deterioration, weight gain and lack of sex drive sound familiar? These are all common symptoms of low testosterone, a condition that can impact fertility by reducing sperm production. However, testosterone replacement therapy can be tricky for couples who are trying to conceive because too much of this hormone can also impede conception. If you or your male partner is deficient in testosterone, discuss low testosterone medication treatment with a fertility specialist.
Medications like clomiphene and gonadotropins are some of the most widely used and affordable fertility treatments. These drugs work by triggering successful ovulation cycles and are a great option for women with hormonal imbalances. About half of women who ovulate on clomiphene will be able to get pregnant, usually within the first three cycles. Fertility drugs carry a higher risk of multiple pregnancies and mild side effects like hot flashes and nausea.
IUI or IVF
Intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization are considered the gold standard of fertility treatment. IUI involves placing sperm directly into the uterus through a catheter to increase the odds of implantation, while IVF combines the sperm and egg in a laboratory and transfers the resulting embryo into the uterus. Both of these procedures are expensive, but they offer an effective last resort for couples who have failed to conceive through other methods.
If fertility treatments fail to work for you, don’t give up on your journey to parenthood. There are many other great options for building a family, such as gestational surrogacy, embryo donation, adoption and fostering.