Common Female Infertility Treatments
If you’re confronting infertility, you are not alone. The CDC reports that one in ten couples in the U.S. has problems with infertility. Fortunately, your doctor at PFCLA can provide you with the answers you seek, the diagnosis of your or your partner’s infertility, and the available treatments for your specific needs. Here are some of the more common treatments for treating female infertility:
Treating Female Infertility with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI), also called artificial insemination, is a fertility treatment available if you’ve tried to conceive for at least one year with no success.
The IUI treatment aims to increase the number of sperm that reaches the fallopian tubes, increasing the chance of fertilization. The procedure involves injecting several washed sperm via a catheter directly into your uterus.
You may be right for IUI if you experience any of the following conditions:
- Unexplained infertility
- Require a sperm donor
- A hostile cervical, such as cervical mucus that is too thick
- Cervical scar tissue from past procedures or Endometriosis Ejaculation Dysfunction
Note: IUI can also be used in conjunction with fertility medications such as oral (Clomid) or injectable (Gonadotropins) releasing hormones.
The success rate for IUI ranges between 10 - 20% in one cycle.
Think of IUI as a way for sperm to get a head start. However, sperm still need to reach and fertilize the egg on its own.
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Treating Female Infertility with Ovulation Induction
Ovulation induction is a treatment that uses fertility medications to help stimulate the release of eggs from the ovary. If your situation calls for it, your doctor will recommend this treatment to improve the chances of a successful conception.
Women Who Don't Ovulate or Ovulate Irregularly
If you ovulate irregularly, your doctor will provide you with fertility medications (either injections called gonadotropins or pills called clomiphene citrate) to stimulate the development of a single follicle and ovulation of a single egg.
Women Who Ovulate Regularly
If you ovulate regularly, your doctor will provide you with clomiphene and/or gonadotropins to improve the chances of a live birth by stimulating the ovaries and subsequent ovulation of more than one egg.
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Treating Female Infertility with Uterine Surgery
Myomectomy is a common type of uterine surgery that doctors perform to treat female infertility. In this procedure, your doctor will remove your uterine fibroids (also known as myoma) through open abdominal surgery or laparoscopy—depending on the fibroids' number, location, and size.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine Fibroids, also known as leiomyoma, are benign tumors of the muscle in the uterus and are relatively common. In a majority of women, fibroids don’t interfere with the ability to conceive.
However, in certain instances, a fibroid is found inside the uterine cavity or underneath the uterine lining (endometrium), which interferes with implantation. A fibroid can also block the opening of the fallopian tube or increase in size, which can interfere with pregnancy and need to be removed.
If uterine surgery sounds like an option you or your partner would like to take, speak to a member of our staff by scheduling a call.
Treating Female Infertility with Tubal Surgery
If you’re under the age of 35 and have had a tubal ligation, you might be right for tubal reversal surgery. This procedure reverses a tubal ligation surgery, commonly known as "getting your tubes tied.”
In other cases, the cause of infertility can be related to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is often due to secondary scarring from a previous infection such as a sexually transmitted disease or previous abdominal or pelvic surgery (for an ovarian cyst or appendectomy).
Success Rates for Tubal Surgery
The success rate for tubal surgery is, unfortunately, low. It’s also not recommended if you or your partner are over the age of 35. If the ligation was done with a clip and not burned or cut, tubal reversal might be considered.
Alternatives to Tubal Surgery
If tubal surgery is not something you or your partner would consider, your doctor can recommend in vitro fertilization instead (IVF). Fortunately, success rates from IVF are high if you are going through tubal disease at any age.
Advantages of IVF include:
- Much higher success rates on a per-month basis.
- No surgery is involved that requires an extended period of recovery.
- If successful, your permanent contraception will remain intact.
Note: Very few women undergo tubal surgical repair as IVF success rates are much higher.