With one in six couples trying for a baby needing to see a fertility specialist, fertility treatments are more commonplace that you might think. Some people think that “fertility centre” is synonymous with “IVF centre” but there are also a range of simpler treatments possible.
Here at Concept we generally advise people to try the simplest treatment first. However, the chances of success in a single treatment are usually higher with the more invasive, and more expensive, treatments such as IVF so it is a decision that patients must weigh up carefully. In addition, it is very often the case that patients come to us because they know they are approaching that age where fertility rates decline. In these scenarios their decisions are further complicated by the fact that a delay trying a simpler treatment first might mean that the chances of success in a more aggressive treatment become lower, simply by the fact that the patient will be that much older.
In generally escalating terms, the treatments available are:
- Go away and try naturally for a while longer. Read our page on Age and Fertility to see how long you should expect to try for.
- Ovulation Induction, usually suitable if you are not having regular periods.
- Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI), also known as Artificial Insemination
- IUI with Donor Sperm
- IVF (in-vitro fertilisation)
- IVF with ICSI
- IVF followed by Frozen Embryo Transfer
- IVF with Donor Eggs or Donor Sperm
- Surrogacy, for women who do not have a viable uterus. You should discuss options with our team.
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Most treatments involve monitoring by transvaginal 3D ultrasound. Usually the woman’s ovaries are stimulated using medications called gonadotrophins and another to trigger maturation of her eggs. Then the woman has intercourse naturally, or our doctor introduces sperm to the uterus via a catheter, or there is an operation to collect eggs and another procedure to transfer back the embryo.