Infertility is a disease of the reproductive organs of both women and men that prevents a couple from being able to conceive a child. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, roughly one-third of infertility cases can be attributed to problems in the female partner and one-third to problems in the male partner. The remaining one-third is either caused by problems in both partners or is unexplained. Fortunately, there is hope for infertile couples. Multiple fertility treatment programs are available today that can help couples overcome infertility. These programs offer ways that couples can conceive and start a family.
1. Initial Infertility Testing Is Completed For Both Partners
Often, when a couple is having difficulty conceiving, the assumption is made that the problem is with the female partner. However, it is just as likely that it is the male partner who is experiencing infertility. In order to diagnose infertility in one or both partners, comprehensive tests are given to both the male and the female. For men, this can include semen analysis, hormone testing, genetic testing, and testicular biopsy. Ovulation testing, hormone testing, ovarian reserve testing, and imaging are typically completed for women. Most times, doctors are able to pinpoint the exact problem or problems that are preventing the couple from conceiving.
2. Preconception Health Care Is Emphasized
It is widely recognized that taking care of oneself and making healthy choices can increase the chances of conception and lead to a successful pregnancy and delivery. For this reason, it is common for fertility treatment programs to emphasize preconception health care. No matter the treatment plan, most clinics will closely follow the health of fertility patients and provide access to nutrition advice, counseling, and acupuncture, all of which can have positive effects on fertility. The goal is to help patients make choices regarding their health that will increase their chances of conception.
3. Different Treatment Programs Can Meet Most Needs
When it comes to treatment for infertility, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Treatment will be different for each couple, depending on the fertility issues they are experiencing and their subsequent needs. Whether the problem lies in the male or the female of the couple, one treatment option is surgery to repair a part or parts of either partner’s reproductive system. Another treatment option, intended to aid in a woman’s ovulation, is controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. In vivo and in vitro fertilization are additional treatment options available to infertile couples.
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4. Fertility Treatment Programs May Be Covered By Insurance
One of the biggest obstacles to couples seeking treatment for fertility issues is the financial side of it. Depending on the treatment path chosen, the cost can become quite high. However, patients can rest assured that fertility treatments may be partially or fully covered by insurance. Some states require that fertility treatments be covered by insurance. In addition, many treatment clinics work with multiple insurance companies and provide patients with a clear understanding of what their insurance covers and what the patient’s responsibility is.
Though infertility affects many couples, it is not uncommon for some to resist testing and treatment for fear of the risks involved, including hemorrhage, infection, and medication side effects. However, data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology suggest that these risks have decreased significantly between 2006 and 2015. Therefore, couples who strongly desire to conceive and start a family, but are unable to do so unassisted, should not be afraid to seek out infertility testing and fertility treatment programs.