It is estimated that 12 percent of all couples in the United States have infertility issues, and as many as 90 percent of reported cases of infertility are treated using some sort of medication. When a couple is unable to conceive, there are alternatives to consider, but the choice lies with what works for the couple’s situation.
Getting The Process Started
According to the Centers for Disease Control, infertility testing begins with a discussion with a doctor about each partner's sexual history, a semen sample, and ovarian reserve testing. The issue can sometimes be isolated to the male or the female, but in many cases it can be difficult to determine the cause of infertility. When the medical opinions are in place and the testing is done, it is time to consider options.
When it comes to handling male infertility issues, the primary type of doctor involved is a urologist. There are some surgical options available in the event that there is some sort of physical ailment that is causing the issue.
One of the more common solutions used for male infertility is in vitro fertilization. The general concept behind in vitro fertilization is that mature eggs are fertilized in a controlled setting by sperm. The ideal situation uses eggs and sperm from each partner, but donors are often used in some situations.
If there is a case of female infertility, then there is a list of medications that doctors often turn to for help with couples struggling to conceive. Some of those medications include:
- Clomid - This is oral medication that encourages ovulation through the pituitary gland.
- Human menopausal gonadotropin - This medication works directly on the ovaries and attempts to encourage ovulation.
- Metformin - This drug is used to combat the presence of a higher than normal level of male hormones in the female body.
Couples that experience unexplained infertility also have options that have shown a level of success. Some of those methods are:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI) - This is also referred to as artificial insemination and it is the process of fertilizing an egg in the uterus by injecting semen using surgical equipment.
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART) - This is the name for the genre of procedures that are similar to in vitro fertilization and involve the fertilization of an egg outside the female body. Other examples of ART include zygote intrafallopian transfer (the embryo is inserted into the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus), gamete intrafallopian transfer (a risky form of ART that fertilizes the egg inside the female body), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (one single sperm is used to fertilize an egg).
Adoption is an option for couples who are struggling to conceive, but there are several considerations that go along with this option. CNN ran a very comprehensive piece that outlines the pros and cons of adoption. Along with the benefits that include raising a child and helping a child in need, there are obstacles that couples need to consider. Adoption can be expensive and cost as much as $30,000 for private agencies. Many couples have a difficult time affording some of the infertility options that are available, and adoption can be put in the category of high-priced solutions.
Even with organizations and countries that offer free adoption services, there are obstacles to overcome. Many couples tend not to have a preference of the type of child they get in adoption, but others may have a preference in mind and that can create problems.
Another point to consider with adoption is the long waiting periods that go with trying to use free or government sponsored methods. It can take years to get off a waiting list, and many couples do not want to wait that long.
Infertility can be difficult to deal with, however, couples that are experiencing infertility problems can look at different options towards having children. Adoption can be a difficult emotional process, but it offers a way to bring a new life into your family. If adoption is not your choice, then there are still many options you can discuss with your doctor to help conceive a child.
Michael Monheit, Esq is the managing partner for Monheit Law and a sponsor of the website ZofranLegal.com. He has over 20 years of experience as an attorney and has been involved in numerous mass tort pharmaceutical and medical device cases.