You have dreamed about becoming a mom for as long as you can remember, and now that you are all ready to go, things are just not happening the way you expected. Why is it so easy for everyone else around you? All you want to do is start a family naturally, and yet the long months have passed without success.
If you are struggling with fertility, you are definitely not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 12% of women have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Fortunately, more than half of couples experiencing fertility issues will conceive after treatment, so do not give up hope! Here are some of the most common things you can do or options you can try to help increase your chances of conception.
Give Your Fertility a Boost
Optimizing your health and trying a few low-tech methods for boosting your fertility is a great place to start. Here are some ideas:
- Eat healthy
- Stop smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit alcohol use
- Reduce stress levels
- Get acupuncture
- Be intimate with your partner 3 to 4 days prior to ovulation and up to 24 hours after ovulation
- Use an ovulation predictor kit
Whether injected or taken in pill form, fertility drugs release hormones that induce ovulation to boost egg production and make the uterus more receptive to embryo implantation. This is a convenient, low-cost option for women who don’t ovulate regularly or whose partners have low sperm quality. Fertility drugs have a success rate of 40%-45% of women who ovulate as a result of taking pills and as much as 50% of women who ovulate as a result of injections.
If you have a genetic defect, blocked fallopian tubes, fibroids, endometriosis, or PCOS, surgery may be a great option. Success rates vary. For example, women with endometriosis have a 40% chance of conceiving after laparoscopic surgery while 21%-59% of women conceive after their fallopian tubes are opened. Costs also vary depending on the procedure and your insurance coverage.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Using a thin, flexible catheter, the doctor directly inserts specially prepared sperm into the uterus. Fertility drugs may be used prior to insemination to help increase the chances of fertilization. The chances of conception occurring on the first cycle are 15%-20%, but there is a 60%-70% chance of conception after 6 cycles.
In Vitro Fertilization
After removing eggs from your ovaries, a doctor will combine them with sperm from your partner in a laboratory. If fertilization is successful, the resulting embryos will then be implanted in your uterus. Fertility drugs are usually taken ahead of time to increase the chances of implantation. IVF can be expensive, but the success rate for women 34 and under is 40%.
If you are interested in finding out more information about your fertility options, please contact the excellent team at Women’s Healthcare Associates. We have been helping couples conceive for over 35 years, and we are excited to help you on your journey towards parenthood.