Dr. Gunasheela Gynaecologist & Obstetrician, Chairperson Of The Indian Branch Of Royal College Of Obstetricians And Gynaecologists Of U.K.
If you’ve had difficulty trying to conceive and have decided to seek infertility treatment, you will find a plethora of options before you. But first of all, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Infertility is a common condition that affects a lot more people than one would imagine. So it is not something to be ashamed of. After a year of unprotected intercourse, if a couple has not been able to conceive, it is recommended that they meet an infertility specialist to undergo a comprehensive examination. Depending on the diagnosis, doctors will advise you on the best treatment options available to you. It is important to get as much information about these options as you can before you decide what is best for you. This should of course be done with the advise and counseling of your doctor.
Thousands of people undergo treatment for infertility every year. Once you start looking for information or talking to experts, you will be confounded by the extent of information that you can lay your hands on. But this should not deter you from your ultimate goal. Going through an infertility treatment process can be a very frustrating experience, but it is crucial that every couple is equipped with as much information as they can get about the treatment they are going in for – emotionally and financially.
On a general level, infertility treatment falls into three categories:
• Ovulation Induction (OI)
• Artificial Insemination (AI and IUI)
• Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART: GIFT, ZIFT, ICSI, and IVF)
As the name suggests, ovulation induction (OI) is a process whereby the woman is induced to ovulate. This is done either with a pill or through injectable medication. However, ovulation induction cannot be used to treat all women. Depending on the diagnosis of each case, this method is adopted. Ovulation induction usually works for couples where the woman can’t get pregnant because she doesn’t ovulate regularly or consistently. Sometimes, a pill is all it takes to facilitate pregnancy. But it’s not the same in all cases.
Some couples may have to go in for artificial insemination (AI). AI is a process whereby a purified specimen of the male partner’s sperm is injected into the female partner’s reproductive tract to facilitate fertilization in cases where a couple is unable to get pregnant. Unlike ovulation induction, artificial insemination requires an outpatient procedure, monitoring the woman’s response to fertility medications.
Assisted Reproductive Techniques
Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART), are the most complex fertility procedures. There are different kinds of ART procedures namely IVF, GIFT, ZIFT and ICSI. The basic concept in ART involves taking the egg out of the female body in order to assist the process of fertilization. The simplest and most common ART procedure, Invitro Fertilization (IVF) has resulted in thousands of successful pregnancies over the last 20 years.
Although these infertility treatment procedures have provided hope and helped thousands of infertile couples around the world, each of them should be approached with careful consideration.
It involves complete commitment – emotionally and financially from both partners.
Choosing the right treatment is very crucial given the extent of the psychological impact and mental agony that infertility causes. Infertility treatment involves potent medication and it is important that the couple receive all the support they can get from each other and from their loved ones. But before making a decision, the couple must get all the information they can about the various kinds of treatment available to them. It is important to know what one is getting into, information that will help the couple get through the procedure without any doubts or fears.
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