The Most Commonly Used Fertility Treatments

A diagnosis of infertility can mark a turning point in a woman's life. Fortunately, in many cases it's treatable.
The Most Commonly Used Fertility Treatments

Last update: 04 July, 2021

Fertility treatments vary greatly and depend, to a large extent, on the woman’s previous condition. In general terms, doctors use drugs, surgeries, or assisted reproduction techniques to help their patients.

If you’re interested in knowing a little more about this interesting topic, we invite you to read the following article. It includes the most basic and important aspects regarding infertility and its treatments.

Why does female infertility occur?

The dreaded word infertility, far from being a single diagnosis, encompasses several aspects. The processes of fertilization and pregnancy, in general, are quite complex. Therefore, the mechanisms that produce this condition vary and can differ greatly from one woman to the next.

A couple talking with a fertility specialist.

There are anatomical defects of the uterus that can make conception very difficult. The same happens in patients with autoimmune diseases that, although they don’t prevent fertility, can cause repeated miscarriages. Such is the case of the famous antiphospholipid syndrome.

On other occasions, the ovarian reserve, that is, the number of eggs available for conception to occur is so low that the chances of pregnancy are low. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the therapeutic options are multiple.

The three most commonly used fertility treatments

According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, the treatment of this very varied condition includes three fundamental aspects: Medications or drugs, surgeries, and assisted reproductive techniques.

1. Medications

Doctors usually prescribe medications when the underlying problem of infertility is ovulation disturbances. Through this process, eggs are released from the ovaries, which must meet with the man’s sperm to achieve conception.

Some of them are used to treat specific diseases, such as metformin and polycystic ovarian syndrome, while others are synthetic hormones that seek to simulate the ideal conditions for pregnancy to occur.

The latter includes, for example, gonadotropin injections. There are also other substances that, although they do not act in a similar way to sex hormones, can stimulate their release in the corresponding glands. Such is the case with clomiphene citrate.

Of course, there are several probable adverse reactions, but they’re still good choices as fertility treatments. For example, an increase in the incidence of multiple gestations, i.e. having twins, triplets, etc., has been observed while using these drugs to achieve pregnancy.

Find out more: How a Baby is Conceived

2. Surgeries

As we mentioned at the beginning, a successful pregnancy depends to a large extent on the anatomical integrity of the reproductive sex organs. This is mainly the case of the uterus, including the uterine tubes, which communicate with the ovaries.

Multiple medical conditions can cause the alteration of the interior of these organs, which considerably increases the difficulties that the egg and sperm must face in order to meet.

These interventions are usually low-risk, although much depends on the characteristics of the mother. On the one hand, doctors can approach them classically. However, in recent years, they’ve preferred the laparoscopic approach because of the benefits it brings to the patient and to the health professionals.

A doctor explaining fertility treatments to a couple.

Find out more: Are you familiar with the 9 different types of childbirth?

3. Assisted reproduction techniques, one of the most common fertility treatments

Assisted reproductive techniques are often considered the last of fertility treatments. There are several methods, ranging from intrauterine insemination, in which a specialist introduces sperm into the woman’s uterus so that the process occurs as naturally as possible, to in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. These are not perfect methods, but they undoubtedly facilitate conception enormously.

A complex condition, but treatable

As you can see, you shouldn’t consider infertility to be a permanent problem. Although not all causes are reversible, the truth is that there are many methods to achieve your long-awaited dream of becoming a mother.

If after a long period of time you have difficulty getting pregnant, see a fertility specialist as soon as possible.

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  • Fernández H, et al. La reproducción asistida. Rev Ciencias Médicas 2015;19(2):367-373.