Do you feel you and your partner are beginning to face the dreaded infertility battle? First, make sure you aren’t over-reacting. If you are under age 35 and you have always had a healthy menstrual cycle, odds are you will conceive within 12-months if you are timing conception correctly. Typically, you want to have sex every-other-day, for the handful of days leading up to ovulation.
If you are 35-years or older, and you have a regular menstrual cycle, you will want to try for at last 6-months on your own before seeking outside consultation or assistance. Here are some of the some of the signs that you and/or your partner should consider infertility testing.
Fertility Treatments 101: Where to Start and Which Treatment(s) Are Best For You
If it turns out that infertility might be an issue, you don’t have to jump right to the expensive IVF conclusion; there are plenty of more affordable treatments that are frequently successful – and much less wearing on your emotions and your finances.
Surgery. In some cases a simple surgical procedure will do the trick, especially when a woman has fibroids, endometriosis or scar tissue blocking the fallopian tubes. Once the genetic and/or anatomic abnormalities are corrected, the body is better able to do its reproductive work.
These surgeries typically cost between $2000 and $10,000 dollars but are often covered by health insurance.
Fertility medications. If the problem is thought to be an ovulatory issue, whereby your body isn’t maturing and releasing eggs as it should, fertility medications may be a solution. They are NOT recommended, however, for women who have been diagnosed with early menopause or diminished ovarian reserve. In these cases, you should consult directly with a fertility specialist so you don’t waste any of your precious eggs!
For other ovulatory issues, oral and injectable meds are often sufficient in getting enough eggs down the pike to make conception a possibility. Oral meds can cost up to $100/month while injectables can range from $1000 to $5000 per month. Usually women start with oral meds (which are successful 80% of the time) and work up to injectables or other, more customized treatments. Some insurance policies cover all or a portion of fertility meds while others do not.
More Complex Fertility Treatments Are Handled By a Fertility Specialist
Most infertility surgeries and prescriptions, monitoring and lab work for fertility medications can be handled here at Overlake OB/GYN. If these procedures are not successful, we will refer you to a fertility specialist who can assist you with more complicated fertility treatments.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Also called artificial insemination, IUI takes carefully collected sperm (sperm that have been washed and selected for their healthy morphology and motility) and deposits them directly into the uterus during ovulation or after fertility medications have done their work. This gives the egg(s) a better chance at coming into contact with sperm. IUI is often the next step for couples who couldn’t conceive with the meds alone, or who wanted to just skip ahead and give themselves the best chance of confirmed ovulation + healthy sperm = conception. It is also recommended for men with low sperm count or higher percentages of poor sperm motility/morphology.
Success rates for IUI in couples with undiagnosed infertility range from about 7 to 16%. The cost for a single IUI is around $900. Some insurance carriers will help to mitigate your costs.
In Vitro Fertilization. When you have made your way through the surgery (if relevant), fertility meds and IUI options, the next stop on the fertility treatment route is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). These treatments take sperm and eggs (typically using the aforementioned fertility injections) and manually fertilize them by injecting a sperm into each egg. Once embryos are formed, a viable embryo will be transferred to the woman’s uterus in the hopes that it will implant.
Success rates for IVF vary according to the age of the egg used. If you are an older woman, using a younger woman’s donor egg will place your IVF success rates in her age bracket rather than yours. You can verify IVF success rates by clinic – or national average for your age – on the SART website. A typical cycle of IVF costs $12,400 if you are using your own egg and your partner’s sperm. Costs vary if donor egg/sperm are used.
Schedule an appointment with Overlake OB/GYN to work with a caring and professional staff of women who will work with you to conceive naturally, or provide recommendations and referrals when further assistance is required.