Medical help with conceiving
Intra uterine insemination
Sometimes known as artificial insemination or IUI this is a fertility treatment option for people who are having difficulty conceiving due to sperm antibodies present in the body. Sometimes males or females can develop a kind of allergy to sperm which means that, in the case of the man, as soon as sperm is made the body tries to destroy it, and in the case of the woman, as soon as it’s deposited in her body it is attacked by her immune system. Many couples with this problem are successful in conceiving using IUI. Sperm is introduced into the womb via a catheter at the time of ovulation, giving it the best possible chance of connecting with the egg and fertilising into an embryo before it’s destroyed.
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)
This is a process that can help people with unexplained fertility, endometriosis, male factor problems, women with cervical issues, or couples using donor sperm. A very similar process to full IVF, the woman’s ovaries are chemically stimulated to produce eggs, which are then collected during a small operation, mixed with the man’s sperm and then immediately put back into the woman’s body for incubation. During IVF, fertilisation takes place outside the body whereas during GIFT fertilisation occurs inside, taking advantage of the woman’s fallopian tubes as a natural incubator.
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
IVF can help couples who have difficulty conceiving for a variety of reasons. This fertility treatment involves chemically stimulating the woman’s ovaries to produce several eggs instead of just one, using a series of injected gondotrophins (stimulating drugs). When the eggs are the right size they are collected during a small operation, mixed with the man’s sperm, and left to fertilise in an incubator in the laboratory. When fertilisation has been established the embryos are painlessly introduced back into the womb for the natural process of implantation to begin.
Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
ICSI is the most successful infertility treatment for people having difficulty conceiving due to male factors, such as oligospermia, azoospermia, blockages, vasectomy, hernia, genetic problems, impotence, premature ejaculation and many other problems. The process is exactly the same as for IVF, except the sperm is actually injected into the egg. Fertilisation takes place in an incubator in the laboratory, and embryos are painlessly returned to the womb via a catheter so they can hatch out and begin the process of implantation.
In many of these procedures donor eggs and sperm can be used if conditions are necessary, or the eggs or sperm of either partner are too few or of too poor quality. Using donor eggs or sperm can help couples where the woman has gone into premature menopause or the man does not produce enough, good quality sperm. It can also help people who have had diseases affecting their fertility.