If you and your partner have tried to get pregnant for some time now with no success, you might be looking for other options that may help you grow your family. Fortunately, with today’s medicine and technology, there are many options.
Before you make any decisions, consult with a medical professional who can advise you based on your body’s needs to give you the best chance of success. Do your research beforehand so that you can ask the right questions and raise the right concerns.
Here are a few options to explore:
Fertility drugs are usually the first route couples try. They can be either taken orally or injected, and they are the cheapest, easiest solution. The drugs release hormones that increase the uterus’ reception to the sperm and boost egg production. Fertility drugs can also be used for men, but this is less common.
Women who do not ovulate regularly or have partners with poor sperm quality should consider fertility drugs first. However, fertility drugs will not make a difference if your fallopian tubes are damaged in any way or if you have scarring from endometriosis; both conditions call for in vitro to bypass the damage.
Cost: Varies; $60-$60,000 per cycle
Artificial insemination is a much less invasive procedure than some of the other fertilization methods. Sperm are taken from your partner or a donor and injected straight into your fallopian tubes or uterus. This bypasses any obstructions or difficulties and makes the journey to the eggs shorter for the sperm.
This procedure is used often when men have low sperm counts, women have endometriosis, or the doctors cannot determine the cause of infertility.
Unfortunately, although the procedure is simple, has few side effects, and is one of the cheapest options, it also has a very low success rate (%5-25%).
Once a donor has taken a myriad of tests and examinations to prove that they are a healthy, safe candidate for donating eggs, they will undergo an intensive surgical procedure that removes some of their eggs. The eggs from the donor are fertilized with sperm from the recipient’s partner, and the fertilized eggs are then transferred to the recipient’s uterus. Women can choose to use eggs from an egg bank or even request that a close family member or friend donate the eggs.
Women whose ovaries are damaged or failing, who have undergone chemotherapy, or who have poor egg quality often try this method.
The success rate for women using donor eggs is just over 50%. There are physical health risks involved (such as cramping, bleeding, or even OHSS), but the biggest potential problem is the emotional repercussions of bearing a child that is not genetically related to the birth mother.
Cost: $15,000 to $30,000
In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves a surgical procedure in which some of your eggs are removed and fertilized with your partner’s (or a donor’s) sperm in a laboratory setting. The embryos are then placed directly into your uterus.
INF is not as successful as using an egg donor—success rates clock in at around 30%.
Cost: Average in the USA – $12,500
You can start considering adoption at any point in your journey to start a family. Adoption is no cheaper than fertilization procedures; in fact, it can often be much more expensive depending on the agency, services provided, whether the adoption is international, state-side, or follows foster care, how old the child is, and what the state requirements are.
Adoption will not allow you to have the experience of giving birth yourself, but that makes the child no less yours. Adoption is an emotional journey, and, in its own way, is just as rewarding as giving birth.
Cost: Several hundred dollars to over $44,000.
There is no one method that will work for every couple. Consult with your doctor and your spouse to determine the option that will work best for you and your future family. It might be a long and emotional journey, but with enough determination, hope, and the help of modern medicine, it will be worth it in the end.