Infertility Treatment Options: What is available and what is right for you?
Are you or your partner affected by infertility? You're certainly not alone. Infertility affects 6.1 million couples in America, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Luckily, there are a wide variety of infertility treatment options for the simplest to even the most complex causes, that are available to both men and women.
ICI – Intracervical Insemination (also know as Home Insemination)
Intracervical insemination (home insemination) may be done in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Sperm used for ICI is usually “raw” semen, meaning ejaculated semen that has not been processed to remove prostaglandins or cellular debris. Prostaglandins stimulate muscle contractions in the female reproductive tract and aid the movement of the sperm towards the uterus.
Home Insemination, in simple terms, is when you insert donor sperm into your vagina using a syringe with the aim of achieving pregnancy. To complete a home insemination process, your favorite donor's sperm will be sent to your home where you will then follow the simple instructions given to you with the home insemination kit.
If you want to learn more about the cost of home insemination compared to other fertility treatments, we recommend you to follow the link to our blog post on the subject.
Video: How to Use Your Home Insemination Kit
Who uses ICI treatment?
Home insemination is a great option for single women, couples struggling to have a baby due to male fertility issues, or lesbian couples. This is an at-home procedure that can be done in privacy with no requirement to visit a doctor’s office.
Find out all the benefits to home insemination and why it is so popular.
IUI – Intrauterine Insemination
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a minor office procedure where sperm that has been processed to remove the semen, dead sperm, and cellular debris, is placed with a small catheter directly into a woman’s uterus at the time she is ovulating. The catheter is passed through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. The unique technique to this procedure is placing the sperm into the upper uterus so that it is closer to the Fallopian tubes, where the sperm will travel to fertilize the egg.
IUI-ready sperm is always processed using a gradient separation and washed. Most women will experience little to no discomfort during this infertility treatment. Read more about the difference in IUI and ICI donor sperm here.
Who uses IUI?
IUI can be done using donor sperm or your partner’s sperm. Donor sperm is typically used by heterosexual couples when the male partner is infertile or carries a risk of genetic disease. A single woman or lesbian couple who long to become parents would also be able to use donor sperm in an IUI procedure. They may wish to try ICI first unless they are aware of any fertility issues.
An important part of IUI treatment is the success rates. If you want to read more about success rates when using IUI treatment, follow the link to our blog post.
IVF – In Vitro Fertilization
In Vitro Fertilization, also known as IVF treatment, is an assisted reproductive technology where an egg and sperm are manually combined for fertilization outside of the womb. Once an embryo has formed, it will be transferred to the uterus where hopefully a successful pregnancy will occur.
The chances are higher of becoming pregnant with this procedure because you are inserting an already developing embryo into your uterus rather than just sperm.
Conventional IVF and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Conventional IVF is the process where sperm and eggs are combined in a culture dish allowing the sperm to fertilize the eggs as they would naturally. Unless a patient has a diagnosis of male factor infertility or poor egg quality this is usually the first attempt to fertilize in IVF.
ICSI is a process that involves an embryologist injecting a single sperm into an egg. This process is often used in cases of male factor infertility and/or poor egg quality. It is also done when vitrified donor eggs are used because the vitrification process removes the cumulus cells from around the egg that are needed for conventional IVF insemination.
In both processes the resulting embryos are grown in incubators for 2-6 days before transferring to the intended mother's uterus.
Who Does IVF or ICSI?
IVF is a well-known and common procedure most often done for men or women who are affected by infertility. If a man is infertile, IVF can be done using donor sperm and if a woman is infertile, IVF can be done using donor eggs. Follow the link to read more about the IVF treatment process.
If there are any abnormalities or interferences with your normal reproductive functions, reproductive surgery is an infertility treatment to consider. Surgery can be done to try and fix or better your functions, so you may try and conceive naturally. However, sometimes it cannot be done under certain circumstances, or surgery is just not enough.
Who Does Reproductive Surgery?
Reproductive surgery may be an option for women affected by infertility due to:
- Tubal obstructions
- Scarring of the ovaries
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Reproductive surgery may be an option for men affected with infertility due to:
- Obstruction along the reproductive tract
For more information
Don’t hesitate to give our Customer Care Team a call at (407) 203-1175 for any questions you may have regarding donor sperm or eggs. If you are looking to use donor gametes, start your journey at our sperm donor search or egg donor search here and view hundreds of donors with FREE extended profiles.