Once the infertility evaluation is complete, treatment may begin. The road to success for many couples begins with the following first steps.
Ovulation Induction – Fertility Drugs
Many women who have difficulty becoming pregnant can conceive with medical assistance. One form of treatment is ovulation induction, which is usually the first step in infertility treatment. These medications are given to women who have irregular menses to induce ovulation. They can also be given to women who do ovulate monthly to stimulate the production of multiple eggs, thus “boosting” the ability to conceive. The medication comes in two forms: oral (Clomiphene Citrate, Clomid™, or Serophene™) and injectable (Follistim™, Gonal-F™, Repronex™).
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a process where sperm are obtained from the ejaculate, washed and placed into a woman’s uterus. Often, IUI is performed in conjunction with Ovulation Induction. IUI is performed for men with normal and low sperm counts. Processing and isolating good quality sperm at the Andrology laboratory will “boost” the ability of sperm to fertilize the egg.
A woman’s reproductive organs lie in her pelvis. There a number of conditions that can affect the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus that can be treated surgically. Operative laparoscopy refers to a minimally invasive technique whereby many debilitating or infertility causing conditions can be treated on an outpatient or “day surgery” basis.
Some women are evaluated with a laparoscopy, while more complex laparoscopy can restore a woman’s pelvic anatomy to enhance fertility. Conditions such as endometriosis are usually diagnosed and treated laparoscopically.
The inside of a woman’s uterus has a special lining called the endometrium. That lining is unique because it responds to the estrogen and progesterone that are produced monthly. There are a number of conditions that disrupt the endometrium and can lead to heavy or irregular periods or infertility.
Operative hysteroscopy refers to a minimally invasive technique whereby such conditions can be treated on an outpatient or “day surgery” basis. Conditions treated hysteroscopically include endometrial polyps or fibroids that can be removed to enhance fertility.
Some couples require sophisticated techniques called Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) to achieve a pregnancy. These techniques, available trough GENES Fertility Institute for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, include In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intravaginal Culture System (INVOCELL) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), These techniques are highly successful for most couples.