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7 Different Types of Fertility Treatment

last year12 min read
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Last updated: Jan 23 2023

If you’ve been TTC for a while, you may be wondering about fertility treatments. Is there fertility surgery? What about natural fertility treatments at home? Let’s find out.

Fertility treatments

There have been some amazing advancements in fertility treatments in recent years.

So, if you’re an aspiring mama, things are looking good.

However, there’s no denying that the array of different fertility treatment options can be confusing.

And you probably have lots of questions from what are fertility pills for women? to what is the cheapest fertility treatment?

(Sadly, yes, price does sometimes come into it.)

We spoke with embryologist and fertility expert, Navya Muralidhar, for everything you need to know about fertility treatments.

Let’s go!

In this article: 📝

  • What is a fertility treatment?
  • What are the 3 main types of fertility treatments?
  • What fertility treatment is best?
  • How much do fertility treatments cost?
  • Which fertility treatment is most effective?
  • Support when you’re going through fertility treatment

What is a fertility treatment?

Fertility treatment covers any medical treatment that’s used to help you conceive a baby.

It might involve fertility surgery, fertility pills, or assisted reproductive technology (ART), like in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Fertility treatments (sometimes also known as infertility treatments) are used when all other avenues for improving your chances of conceiving have been explored.

That is, any underlying health issues that could impact your fertility have been resolved (if that’s possible).

Your doctor will carry out tests to try and work out the exact issue with your fertility for the best fertility treatment for you.

For women, the problem can lie with our ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus.

If you’ve got a male partner on the scene, there could be a problem with his swimmers, or reproductive organs. And in some cases, the issue may lie with genetic makeup.

The results of these tests will guide your doctor as they determine which would be the best fertility treatments to help you get pregnant.

The important thing to remember here is that you’re not alone ‒ somewhere between 10-15% of couples experience infertility at some point.

If you want more support and people to talk to who know what you’re going through, you’re always welcome on Peanut.

How can I check my fertility?

If you’re not sure when you might be at your most fertile (this is your fertile window, which is the most likely time to conceive), there are some tests you can take at home.

You can try an at-home ovulation test before you think about fertility treatments ‒ it might be that you’re trying to conceive on days where you’re at your least fertile.

One of the highest-rated fertility tests according to our mamas of Peanut is the Clearblue Fertility Monitor, which you can get on Amazon.

However, if you’ve taken a fertility test and you’re still not sure whether you might have fertility issues, it’s best to speak with your doctor, who can carry out a proper fertility check and suggest possible fertility treatments.

Can I test my fertility at home?

Yes, you certainly can, with an at-home fertility test or ovulation test ‒ although visiting your doctor will give you a more accurate result, along with some next steps, like fertility treatments.

How can I boost my fertility to get pregnant?

While it’s true there are some ways that you can improve your fertility outside of surgical fertility treatments and over-the-counter fertility pills, it’s important to remember that these aren’t guaranteed.

Sometimes, TTC just takes longer than usual, or needs a helping hand.

But if you want to try some more ‘natural’ fertility treatments at home, here are a few things you can try:

  • Timing when you have sex. Doing your ‘baby dance’ when you’re at your most fertile can significantly increase your chances of conceiving.
  • Keeping stress in check. Sometimes, stress can impact your fertility and chances of implantation.
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle ‒ whatever that means for you, like including exercise, healthy eating habits, or eating more fertility-friendly foods.
  • Cutting some things out, like drinking alcohol, smoking, and caffeine.
  • Taking fertility supplements. Some fertility doctors recommend taking multivitamins and prenatal supplements to boost your chances of conceiving.

Remember to speak with your doctor before you make any major lifestyle changes.

Can folic acid make you fertile?

Not strictly speaking, no.

Folic acid is recommended to take a few months before trying to conceive and during the first trimester of pregnancy to encourage healthy growth and reduce the risk of neural tube defects in babies.

But as for whether folic acid can help you get fertile ‒ the jury’s still out, and there aren’t enough conclusive studies to prove whether it can or not.

One small study even tested men taking folic acid supplements, which didn’t significantly improve their semen quality ‒ although it’s still a small study, so more tests need to be carried out.

Can you go from infertile to fertile?

Yes, you can become fertile after being infertile.

Whether you try our natural fertility treatments at home or speak to a doctor about fertility treatments, more often than not, you can become fertile.

What are the 3 main types of fertility treatments?

While there are lots of different fertility treatment options available, they’re split into three main types of fertility treatment:

  • Medicines, like fertility pills or shots
  • Surgical procedures, like tubal cannulation
  • Assisted conception, like intrauterine insemination (IUI)

What fertility treatment is best?

Well, there is no single best fertility treatment, it’s all about what’s best for you.

Availability, health, finances, and circumstances can all influence which fertility treatment you opt for.

Well, here we explore 7 different fertility treatment options to give you a feel for what’s out there.

1. Fertility pills for women

For many women, especially women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), medication that spurs their ovaries on to produce mature eggs can be a very effective fertility treatment.

(Note: “mature” means the eggs are ready to leave the ovary and be fertilized by any handy sperm that come along.)

Drugs that are used to stimulate ovulation include clomiphene (in tablet form), gonadotrophins (as a shot), and letrozole fertility treatment (also a fertility pill).

Fertility pills for men

Most fertility pills for men on the market tend to be supplements, containing things like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and selenium, which can all promote healthy cell growth (yup, even for sperm cells).

What is the best fertility drug to get pregnant?

There is no single ‘best’ fertility pill to take ‒ it depends on the reason for your infertility, your circumstances, and your overall health.

If you’re not sure which fertility treatment would be best for you, speak with your doctor.

2. Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Also known as artificial insemination, IUI is a fairly simple fertility treatment where semen (from a male partner or donor) is processed in the lab to maximize on the quantity of better sperm and inserted into your uterus via a long thin tube called a catheter.

The procedure is timed to take place when you’re ovulating, and you may also be given medication to boost ovulation.

Before IUI, the semen from the partner/donor undergoes a ‘sperm wash’ method.

In this process, any debris and other components are separated from healthy, motile sperm, which are retained and concentrated.

This part of the processed semen sample is then inserted into the uterus.

IUI is usually done the day prior to ovulation.

In some cases it is repeated the day after ovulation, to maximize the chances of conception.

This maximizes your chance of a healthy, motile sperm cell meeting your egg and fertilizing it.

3. Tubal cannulation

If it’s discovered that you have a blockage in one of your fallopian tubes that is stopping you conceiving, you might be offered tubal cannulation.

This is a type of keyhole fertility surgery that uses two tiny cameras (a hysteroscope and a laparoscope) to find the site of the blockage, which can then be cleared using a thin wire.

Tubal cannulation works well for small blockages at the end of the fallopian tube nearest your uterus.

For more severe blockages, IVF might be recommended as an alternative fertility treatment in addition to this fertility surgery.

4. In vitro fertilization (IVF)

One of the best-known fertility treatments, IVF is a complex process that takes a couple or several months to complete.

You’ll start by taking fertility pills to stimulate ovulation.

The thing with IVF is that, unlike natural cycles, you’ll be on medications that help you produce more than one egg.

This is known as controlled ovarian stimulation.

Once you have enough mature eggs, they are retrieved and placed in a laboratory dish with your partner’s/a donor’s sperm.

Then, this is put in an incubator overnight, where the magic of fertilization is expected to happen.

Once the sperm fertilizes the eggs, the zygotes ( are left to grow for 3 to 5 days in the lab to form embryos.

After that, one or two embryos (at the most!) will be inserted into your uterus, close to the site of implantation called the fundus.

With a bit of luck, one of them will decide to set up home there for the next nine months!

5. Egg donation

If you have a problem with the quality or quantity of your eggs, or you have a genetic condition you don’t want to pass to your child, you could consider the route of IVF with an egg donor as a fertility treatment.

Using an egg donor screening program, you can find a suitable donor who’s willing to provide some of her eggs, which will then likely be frozen.

The process is highly regulated, and requires rigorous genetic screening and other tests to ensure that the donors don’t have any underlying medical conditions that may be passed on.

They will then take medication to stimulate ovulation and have their eggs collected.

These can be fertilized with your male partner’s sperm and inserted into your uterus as we mentioned earlier, through IVF.

6. Gestational carrier (surrogacy)

This is a great fertility treatment if your eggs and your partner’s sperm are healthy, but your uterus isn’t able to support a pregnancy, your health would be at risk if you did become pregnant, or if you’re a gay couple

IVF is used to create embryos from your eggs and your partner’s sperm, and these can be implanted in a gestational carrier.

That’s the name for a surrogate mama who will carry the baby for you, while the baby is still genetically your child.

7. Fertility treatments for men

We’ve focused on fertility treatments for all of the hopeful mamas out there, but you might also have a man in your life who needs some extra help to make your baby dream come true.

Fertility treatments for men include:

  • Medication to boost sperm count or quality.
  • Surgery to treat a sperm blockage or repair a varicocele (aka swollen veins).
  • Sperm retrieval procedures to extract sperm that can then be used for IUI or IVF.

How much do fertility treatments cost?

The cost and availability of different fertility treatments will vary based on where you are in the world.

In the US, for example, only 16 states have laws that say medical insurance must cover or offer coverage for fertility treatments.

You’ll find that the more complex the fertility treatment is the more expensive it will be.

So, a fairly quick, low-tech procedure like IUI might cost $300 to $1,000 (without medical insurance), while one cycle of IVF can cost upwards of $15,000.

It’s worth contacting your healthcare or medical insurance provider to check what kinds of fertility treatments are available in your region and whether you’ll need to cover the cost yourself.

Are fertility treatments tax deductible?

Yes, some fertility treatments can be tax-deductible, as they can be classed as a medical expense.

If you want to find out if you can claim your fertility treatments as tax-deductable, speak to a financial advisor.

Which fertility treatment is most effective?

There is no ‘best’ fertility treatment ‒ there are different reasons for infertility, ranging from stress to issues with sperm.

If you want to find the best fertility treatment for you, speak with your doctor.

What is the first step to treating fertility?

One of the first treatments for infertility is to try a few natural fertility treatments at home, before opting for fertility pills or fertility surgery.

This could involve:

  • Finding out when you’re ovulating.
  • Meditation and yoga to keep stress levels down.
  • Eating healthily.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Stopping smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Taking fertility supplements.

What is the surgical treatment for infertility?

The most common fertility surgery is tubal cannulation, which finds and removes any blockages in your fallopian tubes that could cause infertility.

What are three fertility treatments available?

Generally speaking, the fertility treatments that may be available to you will be split into three categories: fertility surgery, fertility pills (medication), and assisted conception (like IUI and IVF).

What are alternatives to IVF?

There are lots of ways to get pregnant without IVF, but if you’re struggling with infertility and you want to see what other fertility treatments may be suitable for you, it’s best to speak with your doctor.

Support when you’re going through fertility treatment

Infertility can be a tough mountain to climb at the best of times, before you start throwing in hormone shots, stressful appointments, fertility treatments, or the hunt for a suitable egg donor.

If you’re undergoing fertility treatments to get pregnant and you’re finding it difficult, remember that there’s a whole community of women who have been there (or are going through the same thing right now!) on Peanut.

Be gentle with yourself, and reach out for support when you need it.

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