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Everything You Need to Know About Going Through Infertility Treatment


Updated September 18, 2009

Many couples have a lot of worries about beginning infertility treatment. Is it me? Is it him? Will we ever have a baby? The questions and worries go on and on. Besides these types of questions, may worry about the treatment itself -– the various medications, how they’ll respond to taking daily injections, and what the process is.

It’s important to do your research before initiating therapy. From selecting your physician to preparing for your first visit to starting medication, understanding the process will make it much easier for you to move through it.

Your Infertility Treatment Plan

After the doctor has completed testing and determined a diagnosis, he will put together a treatment plan for you. There are a few different choices for medication, depending on your situation. The following are all used for ovulation induction, helping your ovaries prepare and mature a few eggs for ovulation.

During the Course of Infertility Treatment

Usually, frequent monitoring through blood testing and ultrasound is required. The doctor will let you know when you have 2 to 3 mature egg follicles in the ovary and when to begin having intercourse. Sometimes the physician will have you do a procedure known as intrauterine insemination. This procedure involves using a small catheter to put the sperm through the cervix directly into the uterus.

If after a few cycles, or if the doctor thinks it is a more appropriate treatment choice, in vitro fertilization (IVF) might be recommended. A more invasive procedure, IVF involves a higher dosage of follicle-stimulating hormone and human menopausal gonadotropin so that you produce many more then 2 to 3 eggs. Another medication is usually required to shut off the surge of hormones that causes a mature egg follicle to release its egg during ovulation.

Once you have a number of mature egg follicles, your doctor will prepare you for egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

Going through infertility treatment usually requires that you learn how to do injections. While it’s intimidating for most people, it’s not as hard as it may seem and you will quickly get used to the procedure.

Undergoing infertility treatment can be difficult. It's important to get support throughout treatment from family, friends or professional if necessary. Many couples are eventually able to conceive a pregnancy. The best thing you can do is educate yourself. Learn about your options, find a clinic who has good statistics and that you're comfortable with. Don't be afraid to ask questions and get a second opinion if necessary.

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