Which Fertility Treatment is Right for YOU?
The initial evaluation of the fertility factors of both the male and female are key in order to properly assess which method is the right choice for a particular patient/couple. The evaluation process can be done quickly, efficiently and thoroughly; often all in one day.
There are four basic fertility treatment options available:
In some cases, after the initial evaluation has been completed, the best approach for the patient/couple is simply, hands off, wait and see.
Ovulation induction is simply the use of medications (pills or shots) to induce follicle growth and development with subsequent ovulation. This method of treatment is appropriate when there is an ovulation dysfunction, usually an easily diagnosable condition. In already ovulatory patients, these medications (namely shots) can be used to induce multiple ovulations, increasing the chance that one egg makes it. This does increase the risk of high-order multiple pregnancy; however, simple monitoring can minimize this risk. Unfortunately, these medications are often used when not appropriate and therefore have dismal success. Definite situations where this would not be a recommended course of treatment would be for those involving tubal factor(s) and severe male factor(s).
Overall, ovulation induction has a low reported success rate due to the above discussed issues and ultimately is not very cost-effective versus IVF.
INTRAUTERINE INSEMINATION (IUI)
Sometimes referred to as artificial insemination, intrauterine insemination (IUI) can be useful in some cases of minor male factor infertility and cervical factor infertility (not common); however, this form of treatment is often over used and misused. Ongoing research and literature reports overall low success with this form of treatment care versus In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). A comprehensive investigation of both male and female factors is key before choosing to embark with IUI. Simple evaluation can assure that one does not utilize this form in treatment in suboptimal situations. The most common and under-assessed factor, prior to the utilization of IUI, is that of the male factor; specifically, a comprehensive semen evaluation including the evaluation of DNA Fragmentation.
For patients with insurance coverage for fertility treatment, IUI is often a course of treatment required to be attempted prior to the usage of IVF. Please be sure to refer to your specific insurance policy requirements.
Generally, in all but mild cases of male infertility, the performance of IUI is of doubtful benefit.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Undoubtedly, IVF is the most successful treatment available, no matter what the medical issues. Often, IVF is also the most cost-effective treatment, too. Specifically, patients with the following circumstances/factors, IVF is the recommended course of care:
- Severe Male Factor
- Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR)
- Tubal Factor
- Multiple Miscarriage
- Multiple Combined Factors including Male and Female Fertilty Factors
- Need for the use of an Egg Donor or a Surrogate