How Does Infertility Treatment Work? - Options and Costs

 It is estimated that one tenth of American couples becomes infertile in their reproductive years. That is a huge number and can seem daunting, but luckily science is always advancing in this area and there are increasingly more options for infertile couples. Many couples even have success without extensive treatments like IVF, opting instead for more modern options that are less physically (and financially) taxing.

 Although the treatment you require will depend on your situation, medical history and maybe even your location, there are many options available to most. Keep reading below for a little more information on the most popular treatments successfully used to get some answers to the big question of how does infertility treatment work?

Fertility Medications

Fertility drugs are either taken orally or injected. These drugs work by releasing hormones that can induce ovulation and increase egg production. They also make the uterus more likely to accept implantation.

These types of treatments are usually for women who do not ovulate properly or have partners with low sperm count. About 40% of women who use this method will get pregnant.

Costs vary widely for this option, depending on whether ultrasounds and tests are included, ranging from $60 to $6000.

Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination uses specially cleaned sperm put directly into the uterus through a catheter. Usually this method also includes taking fertility drugs to ensure successful insemination.

Typically, it is used for couples where the man has a low sperm count, making conception difficult. Some women with low or acidic cervical mucus that does not carry sperm properly can also benefit from the procedure.

While on the plus side it is a simple treatment that is done right in the doctor’s office, it has also been known to cause multiple births. On average the cost ranges from $800-$1000.

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

IVF works in processes called cycles. One cycle means that some eggs are extracted and mixed with sperm in a laboratory. Once embryos begin to develop, they are implanted in the uterus and the rest put in storage.

IVF is usually used for women over age 35 who may have trouble conceiving because of biological reasons, or women with damaged Fallopian tubes. It is also used for couples with unexplained infertility, or where the man has low sperm count.

Having been one of the longest standing treatment options, IVF has pretty good success rates. At least 20% of couples will successfully become pregnant from just one cycle. Subsequent cycles can use the stored embryos from earlier extractions. The con here is usually the IVF cost, according to IVF authority cost report, costing $12,000-15,000 per cycle in USA.

Sperm From a Donor

This process uses sperm from a donor other than the intended father. The sperm is used for a typical IVF process (as detailed above). This process is usually used for male infertility, single women, men carrying genetic disorders, or two women.

While the procedure can have an 80% success rate, this is typically after 6 or more cycles. One cycle has a 15% rate, with subsequent ones getting higher and higher.

This option costs $300 or more, but must also include IVF treatment, which can add upwards of $8000.
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