Choosing the right infertility treatment depends on a number of factors, including the cause of patient's infertility. For example, the best treatment for someone who is infertile because of insufficient hormone levels may differ from the right course for someone who has reproductive abnormalities. Likewise age, overall health, preferences for method of becoming a parent, and gender all have important roles to play in selecting the right treatment options.
The first step in choosing the best infertility treatment is a physical examination. A physical exam, performed by a qualified medical professional, may reveal underlying conditions that can lead to or worsen infertility. For example, an STD or a thyroid problem could interfere with conception. Additionally, targeted fertility testing can help to pinpoint problems with an individual's or couple's reproductive health.
Once the physical exam and infertility testing are complete, a doctor typically discusses any problems discovered and infertility treatment options with the patient or couple. This may reveal the best form of treatment right away. For example, if the problem is a low sperm count, the doctor may recommend treatment of infections, hormone replacement, or even surgery to boost the chances of a successful pregnancy. If treatment options do not appeal to the couple or are unlikely to work, artificial insemination may prove a better option. In some cases, the causes of infertility remain elusive and further testing is necessary.
Sometimes the best infertility treatment is apparent because of the patient's desire to avoid surgery. For example, if surgery is required to unblock fallopian tubes, a woman may wish to opt for in vitro fertilization with donor eggs to avoid surgery. On the other hand, a couple may desire a child that is biologically related to the mother. In such a case, the best treatment may actually be surgery or a similar procedure that can be used to clear the fallopian tubes or other problems.
Often, age plays an important part in selecting the best infertility treatment. For example, an older individual or couple may feel it necessary to take the most aggressive form of treatment possible. This is because a woman's fertility tends to decrease with age, so an older woman or couple may feel more pressure to succeed right away. A younger woman or couple may have the perception of more time to try, opting for less invasive, easier treatments, at least at first.
Cost is yet another important consideration in selecting the right infertility treatment. Some forms of fertility treatments can cost thousands of dollars to complete. Furthermore, some have a low percentage of success on the first or even second try. As such, an individual or couple may base at least part of this decision on affordability.