Trying to Get Pregnant? What You Should Know about IVF and Artificial Insemination
It can be devastating to hear that you’re unable to have children, whether you’re a man or a woman. Some people feel that they were simply just meant to have a child and finding out that they can’t is crushing. Causes of infertility in women are often difficult to pinpoint. Others may not be infertile, but have a difficult time conceiving or bringing a child to term. The amazing advances in medicine and technology have created infertility solutions for these couples or individuals who want to have a child, even if natural means and methods aren’t possible for them. In vitro fertilization and artificial insemination are two of the most common fertility treatments used by women currently. It’s very important to consult with your partner and doctor before embarking on courses of treatment — they can be incredibly expensive and both people have to be committed to going through it, as it can be financially and emotionally difficult. However, for many people it’s 100% worth it and have success after all their initial difficulty.
How Have Infertility Solutions Become Such a Big Market?
Some people may be surprised to know that a little over 10% of women have sought out and had one type or another of infertility solutions. Despite all the warnings about underage pregnancy, it can be tough to get pregnant when you actually want to. Couples who are between the ages of 29 and 33 with a perfectly healthy reproductive system only have a 20-25% chance of becoming pregnant during any month out of the year. And sadly, a little over 6.5 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 aren’t able to conceive or carry a baby to term all the way. The odds are even worse for older women, whose fertility levels decrease, much as men’s testosterone levels decrease. After a woman passes the age of 40, she has a two in five chance of getting pregnant. Your odds of getting pregnant start dramatically decreasing after you turn 35.
Men contribute to the odds too with low T (testosterone) levels after the age of 30. About one third of infertility is attributed to the man. The Centers for Disease Control looked at the National Survey of Family Growth that was conducted in 2002 and concluded that almost 5 million men under the age of 45 had made an appointment with a fertility doctor.
So Tell Me About Some of These Infertility Solutions
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In this type of treatment, a sperm fertilizes an egg that’s outside of a woman’s body. Once the egg is successfully fertilized, it goes back inside the woman. The success rate is highly variable, depending on how healthy the woman is (and how healthy the contributing sperm is), and the age of the woman.
It’s a fairly pricy procedure — anywhere from $12,000-$17,000. (And it can be a little more or a little less than that, depending on if your insurance covers part of the cost.) Fifteen states have taken measures to make sure that insurance companies do cover some of the cost. Adding to the cost is that many couples will continue to try again and again if not successful the first time.
Your chance of having more than one baby — twins! triplets! — is also higher with IVF. You should be ready to welcome more than one child into your family with IVF treatments.
With this method, sperm is purposefully put into the cervix, fallopian tubes, or uterus, often using a long needle with fresh or frozen sperm. The sperm has to travel a lesser distance and eliminates the possibility of other things getting in the way. In other types of artificial insemination, it’s inserted using a catheter and washed sperm, to remove the likelihood of cramping and rejection by the uterus. It’s a fairly simple procedure and much less expensive than IVF.
Womens health and reproductive medicine has come a long way in the last few decades. Today, it’s possible for a woman or for a couple to realize their dream of becoming a family through advanced medical procedures.