Fertility Treatment

For some people, having a baby requires special support. If you want to become a parent but are having trouble getting pregnant, fertility treatments can help.

Surgery, medications, and assisted reproductive technology (ART) are some types of fertility treatments. Your course will depend on the cause of your concerns, and that path may change over time. Learn what your fertility treatment options are and how lifestyle decisions may have an impact when you're trying to conceive.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the different types of fertility treatments?

    Treatments commonly performed in a fertility clinic include:

    • Surgery: Procedures repair reproductive parts that limit your ability to conceive or carry a child to term.
    • Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation: Medications are taken by mouth or injected to help your body ovulate.
    • Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Sperm is placed directly inside your uterus.
    • In vitro fertilization (IVF): Eggs and sperm are collected from you and a partner and combined in a laboratory to create an embryo that's transferred to your uterus.
    • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: A single sperm is injected into an egg to hopefully create an embryo that's inserted into your uterus.
  • Can I check my fertility at home?

    At-home fertility testing kits, available without a prescription, measure levels of hormones that play a role in conception. Some tell you how likely you are to have a fertility-limiting condition like poor ovarian reserves. At-home tests don't replace a professional diagnostic exam but can give you an idea of whether you should go see a fertility specialist for help.

  • What are the main causes for female infertility?

    Ovulation dysfunction affects 40% of females seeking fertility treatments. Having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), having a very high or very low weight, or being older than 35 can disrupt ovulation. Other times, fertility troubles are the result of structural problems that make reproduction difficult, such as blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis.

  • What are the main causes for male infertility?

    Among couples experiencing infertility, 8% of cases are caused solely by male factors (and 35% of cases have both male and female factors). The main issues linked to male fertility are testicular problems that affect the formation of sperm, blockages in reproductive system ducts, and hormonal imbalances. Older age, obesity, and smoking also reduce sperm count and quality.

  • How can I boost my ovulation naturally?

    If you don't get a period or go very long between periods, talk to your healthcare provider about ways to regulate your cycle and ovulate more often. A dietitian can design a healthy eating plan that may help if you have a BMI above 25 or below 18.5, both risk factors for ovulatory dysfunction. Take time for breakfast: if you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of irregular or absent periods, getting most of your calories in your first meal of the day may boost ovulation.

  • Does female masturbation cause infertility?

    No. Fertility troubles are most often linked to complex biological or physiological factors, like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), structural problems in your reproductive system, or being over age 35. Some behaviors, notably smoking, contribute to infertility, but masturbation does not.

  • What to avoid while trying to conceive?

    Don't smoke, and make sure your partner doesn't either. People who smoke are 60% more likely to have problems getting pregnant than non-smokers. Avoid drinking too much coffee, since having more than five cups a day ups your risk of fertility troubles. During sex, don't use certain lubricants, like K-Y Jelly, olive oil, and saliva, which hinder sperm's movement in the female reproductive tract.

Key Terms

Page Sources
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