Motherhood is a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, a lot of women are not able to enjoy that gift. According to the National Survey of Family Growth, 1 in 8 women has trouble conceiving and sustaining a pregnancy.
Once called a “silent disorder,” the struggles of infertility can cause a huge emotional impact on a woman. Infertility comes with many emotions. As women are usually raised in an environment where playing with dolls are often encouraged, they are under the assumption that they will grow up to become mothers one day.
There are many reasons why women may have a hard time getting pregnant. The most common causes are endometriosis, cervical and uterine abnormalities, hormonal imbalance, age, lifestyle, and ovulation disorders like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid disease.
If you are one of the women who wish to experience motherhood yet are unable to, these fertility treatment options may help you become one step closer to becoming a mother.
Intrauterine Semination, or IUI, is the process of artificially inseminating the uterus to facilitate fertilization. It is a simple procedure that involves injecting a washed sperm into the uterine cavity with a catheter. It is the frontline treatment for women who suffer from uterine problems.
Women who wish to start a family without a spouse can greatly benefit from this procedure.
Like IUI, In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF, is also an excellent fertility option. In vitro is a Latin term, meaning “in glass” due to its process. Children who conceived from this procedure were popularly once called “test-tube babies” because it involves combining the sperm and the egg outside the body.
Modern IVF procedures do not involve test tubes at all; instead, they fertilize the egg in a petri dish. The egg is transferred to the woman’s uterus once it undergoes embryo culture that usually takes 2-6 days.
Women opt for this procedure for a variety of reasons. Couples with trouble conceiving can turn to IVF if the man has a low sperm count or if the woman experiences ovulation problems.
It is a viable option for couples who plan on starting a family thru surrogacy as the successfully-fertilized egg can be implanted in another healthy woman’s uterus.
Often combined with other fertilization methods, Ovulation Induction is the process of stimulating ovulation thru hormonal therapy. Though less invasive than IVF and IUI procedures, it can be just as effective.
Women with fertility issues can benefit from this. Oral medications like Clomiphene Citrate and Letrozole work by inducing ovulation and tricking the body into thinking that their estrogen levels are low — promoting the production of more follicle-stimulating hormones, or FSH.
Women with hormonal disorders and complications from it, like thyroid diseases, can look into this option. Although fertility drugs have a risk of multiple births, other side effects that come with it are usually from the medications.
Oocyte cryopreservation or egg freezing is a popular fertility option for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons why women opt for this method is to preserve their healthy eggs and have it fertilized in the future.
Menopause that comes with age is the body’s natural way of saying that conception is no longer possible. However, motherhood nowadays is not determined by age or the ability to get pregnant. Though eggs reduce in quality as women get older, those who are healthy and with a viable uterus can still choose this option to conceive.
Once ready to start a family, the egg is taken from a storage where it has been preserved. Procedures like IUI or IVF can then be used to fertilize it.
Acupuncture used to be frowned upon due to doubts in its effectiveness. Ancient Chinese medicine was once an unpopular treatment method that Western medicine disregarded. Nowadays, alternative medicine has been rapidly growing and is being recognized and accepted as a great alternative to treatment and medications.
Stress can impact a woman’s ovulation cycle and overall well-being. According to a research by the University of Pittsburgh, Magee-Women’s Hospital, patients who underwent an acupuncture regimen reported to have lower stress rates and had a higher success rate in getting pregnant than those who didn’t.
Though usually harmless, it is extremely important to consult with your physician before starting an acupuncture regimen, especially if you are already undergoing another fertility treatment.
Parenthood is a gift that any couple who wants it should be able to enjoy. While circumstances like medical conditions and diseases can prevent couples to have a family, there are many options that can help improve the chances of starting one.
About The Author
Heather Thompson is the Content Marketing Strategist of Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, a fertility treatment center located in Scottsdale, Arizona that provides comprehensive reproductive endocrinology services like advanced infertility diagnostics and treatment options. On her spare time, she enjoys reading books, playing tennis and going on roadtrips with family and friends.