Men and women experiencing fertility challenges have multiple infertility options to consider. A doctor can help walk you through the options available and explain the infertility treatment options that could help you, and you can explore alternative family-building methods like surrogacy.
Generally, men and women have similar infertility treatment options that address the issues unique to their anatomy. These options include:
- Assisted reproduction
We know experiencing infertility is frustrating, but you aren’t alone. Reaching out to a professional can help you get the support and information you need to move forward and better understand your infertility treatment options.
Disclaimer: You should always speak to a medical professional if you think you’re experiencing infertility. This article is only intended for educational purposes and should not be taken as medical advice.
Understanding Infertility Treatment Options
Before we get into infertility treatment options, we want to acknowledge that experiencing infertility is incredibly difficult. Your diagnosis is not your fault, and you are not alone. Men and women experience infertility at the same rate, and often, the cause is due to many small things.
A doctor can diagnose infertility when a couple has unprotected sex for 12 months without conceiving. The Cleveland Clinic explains that:
- A woman in a couple experiences infertility 10% of the time
- A man in a couple experiences infertility 10% of the time
Sometimes, infertility can resolve itself, or an individual can make lifestyle changes to increase fertility. But, sometimes, a medical professional will provide infertility treatment options to help treat fertility challenges.
Infertility Treatment Options for Women
A doctor may try to treat female infertility with fertility medications, surgery, or assisted reproductive technology.
Medicine Infertility Treatment Options for Women
Doctors have quite a few fertility medicines they can try to help a woman conceive.
These medications include:
- Clomifene: Helps encourage ovulation
- Tamoxifen: Also helps promote ovulation
- Metformin: Can help women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Gonadotrophins: Helps stimulate ovulation
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone and dopamine agonists: Also can encourage ovulation
Surgical Infertility Treatment Options for Women
A doctor may determine that a surgical procedure could help correct the fertility challenges you’re experiencing.
The most common procedures include:
- Fallopian tube surgery: A doctor may perform surgery if your tubes are scarred or blocked
- Laparoscopic surgery: This type of surgery is performed to help correct endometriosis, fibroids, and PCOS
Assisted Reproduction Infertility Treatment Options for Women
Although the same assisted reproduction options exist for men and women, these procedures are more involved for women.
The two types of treatments you can try include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): A woman goes to a doctor’s office or fertility clinic, where a thin plastic tube is placed through the cervix so sperm can enter the uterus.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): A woman’s egg is retrieved from her ovary and fertilized in a dish at a doctor’s office or clinic. The embryo is then inserted directly into the woman’s uterus.
If a doctor determines that you may have a better chance of conceiving by using an egg donor, you may undergo IVF with a donor egg.
Infertility Treatment Options for Men
Doctors also treat infertility in men with medication, surgery, and assisted reproduction.
Medicine Infertility Treatment Options for Men
There are at least three commonly prescribed medications that can help improve a man’s fertility:
- Clomiphene (Clomid): An oral medication that can increase hormones from the pituitary gland to stimulate sperm and testosterone
- Anastrozole or (Arimidex): An oral medication that can help increase testosterone and lower estrogen
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG): Injectable medications that can treat low testosterone
Surgery Infertility Treatment Options for Men
Some surgical procedures also can help increase fertility in men. These procedures include:
- Surgery to repair an epididymal blockage
- Sperm extraction
Assisted Reproduction Infertility Treatment Options for Men
Men experiencing infertility also can use IUI and IVF to conceive. Although men don’t have to undergo as many invasive procedures as women, they should prepare to provide a sperm sample.
If a doctor determines that you need to use a sperm donor for your surrogacy, they will direct you to information on how to proceed.
Moving From Infertility Treatment Options to Surrogacy
It’s never easy to find out that you’ve exhausted all infertility treatment options, but you can still build your family through surrogacy.
Although your pregnancy experience may not go as planned, you can still become a parent with the help of a surrogate.
Even though surrogacy is an amazing way to grow your family, you shouldn’t rush into it. Taking time to grieve your infertility diagnosis is important.
In addition to helping you pursue surrogacy, a surrogacy professional also can provide essential infertility counseling references and support group recommendations. These professionals can serve you on your surrogacy journey once you’ve taken the time to process your emotions.
Surrogacy involves you (intended parents), a surrogate, and typically, a surrogacy agency. Although you could find a surrogate to work with on your own, working with a surrogacy agency can provide many benefits. Some common benefits include:
- A surrogacy professional to support you on your journey
- Surrogacy professional references
- Surrogate match-making services
- Assistance through the medical surrogacy process
- Financial protection
- The guarantee of a baby
- And more
Talk to a Professional About Your Family-Building Plan
Whether you’re a man or woman exploring infertility treatment options, you can get a lot of information about infertility counseling and surrogacy by talking to a surrogacy professional.
These professionals will help you determine the best family-building option for moving from infertility to parenthood.