What you should know about fertility treatment cycles

What you should know about fertility treatment cycles

Some disorders that cause infertility can be treated with surgery, lifestyle changes, or medicine, allowing pregnancy to take place. But for others, more advanced treatments may be needed to conceive a baby.

Fortunately, there are many options available. Hormonal medicines, insemination procedures, and innovative reproductive technologies have helped millions of people expand their families.

Types of infertility treatment cycles

Ovulation induction (OI) medications

Professional Involved: RE | Technology: Low | Cost: Low – Intermediate

In OI, hormonal medicine is used to cause maturation of follicles (the fluid-filled sacs that contain eggs) so that at least one egg is released, causing regular ovulation. The egg can then be fertilized in the body naturally with timed intercourse, or through assisted conception with intrauterine insemination. 

There are many medications used in ovulation induction. Two of the most known are:

  • Estrogen-blocking oral medications usually given to stimulate follicle growth
  • Gonadotropins, injectable medications that promote egg maturation and release

Others are available and may be recommended by your doctor depending on your situation and needs. 

Read more about OI treatment cycles.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedures

Professionals Involved: RE, Andrologist | Technology: Low | Cost: Intermediate

In this in-office procedure, high-quality sperm are placed in the cavity of the uterus using a fine catheter passed through the cervix. This positions the sperm closer to the egg, increasing the chance of fertilization.

IUI ensures accurate timing of sperm in the uterine cavity and bypasses any hostile effects of cervical mucus on the sperm.

Read more about IUI treatment cycles.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART)

Professionals Involved: RE, Andrologist, Embryologist | Technology: High | Cost: High

Following female hormonal stimulation, sperm and eggs are collected, combined, and fertilized in your clinic’s lab, outside of the female body. Any viable embryos are nurtured and developed in an incubator for 5 to 6 days before being transferred into a woman’s uterus.

In-vitro fertilization is the most common ART procedure, but other options may be more successful for some people.

Read more about ART procedures.

Depending on your fertility challenges, one or a combination of these treatments can help you achieve pregnancy. Some people begin with the low-cost, basic treatments and advance to more aggressive therapies if needed. For others, advanced treatments may be recommended from the start because of their infertility diagnosis or age.

Talk to your doctor to determine which course of treatment is right for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—creating a discussion guide can help organize your thoughts and keep you on track during your appointment.

Did you know

Up to 90% of infertility cases are treated with conventional medical therapy 

IN THE KNOW: FAMILY-BUILDING OPTIONS FOR MILITARY MEMBERS

Know your options for stateside infertility services, and how to preserve your fertility before deployment.

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