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Dealing With Fertility Problems
- Are under age 35 and have not been able to get pregnant after a year of frequent sex without birth control
- Are age 35 or older and have not been able to get pregnant after six months of frequent sex without birth control
- Have reason to believe you or your partner may have fertility problems, even before trying to get pregnant
|Medications||A variety of medications can be used to treat infertility. Many of these medications can be used to treat women with ovulation problems. Your doctor will explain the medication options that will be of most benefit to you.|
|Surgery||Often, surgery can be performed to treat male or female infertility, especially if it is due to a structural problem such as damage to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus.|
|Intrauterine insemination (IUI)||Intrauterine insemination, or artificial insemination, involves injecting a woman with sperm from her husband or a sperm donor. IUI is often used with medications to encourage ovulation.|
|In vitro fertilization (IVF)||In IVF, medications are used to encourage the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are removed when they are mature. They are cultured in a dish with sperm. Fertilized eggs are placed into the woman’s uterus or fallopian tubes.|
|Donated gametes (reproductive cells) or embryos||A woman or man may have problems producing eggs or sperm or may have genetic problems that could be passed on to offspring. Donated eggs, sperm, or embryos, along with IVF, can be used to achieve a pregnancy.|
|Surrogacy||If a woman is unable to carry a pregnancy or cannot safely carry a pregnancy, a surrogate carrier may be used. In surrogacy, an embryo is placed in the surrogate, who carries the pregnancy until birth and then gives the baby to the parents.|
National Women’s Health Information Center http://www.womenshealth.gov
National Infertility Association http://www.resolve.org
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Evaluating infertility. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq136.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121226T0618408458. Published June 2012. Accessed March 17, 2014.
Infertility. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility. Accessed March 17, 2014.
Treating infertility. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq137.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121226T0617520655. Updated April 2013. Accessed March 17, 2014.
What is infertility? The National Infertility Association website. Available at: http://www.resolve.org/infertility-overview/what-is-infertility. Accessed March 17, 2014.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 04/29/2014