Get answers to your female Fertility and Infertility questions.
Pelvic inflammatory disease; Polycystic ovaries
Treatment for infertility should first address any underlying medical condition that may be contributing to fertility problems. Drugs, surgery, or both may be used to treat these conditions. Surgery may also be used to repair blockage in fallopian tubes.
Several approaches are used to treat infertility:
Some doctors recommend that if a couple fails to conceive after 1 - 2 years of frequent unprotected sex, they should consult a fertility expert. Women who are 35 or older, however, may want to begin exploring their options if they do not become pregnant within 6 months to a year.
Choosing a good fertility clinic is important. Those offering assisted reproductive techniques are not always regulated by the government, and abuses have been reported, including lack of informed consent, unauthorized use of embryos, and failure to routinely screen donors for disease.
The clinic should always provide the following information:
Advanced fertility procedures and medications are extremely expensive and often not covered by insurance. Couples should be cautious about offers of rebates in the event of failure; the clinics offering them are often significantly more expensive than those that don't offer such gimmicks.
Women who are undergoing cancer treatments and who want to become pregnant should see a reproductive specialist to discuss their options. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology's guidelines, the fertility preservation method with the best chance of success is embryo cryopreservation. This procedure involves harvesting a woman's eggs (oocytes), followed by in vitro fertilization and freezing of embryos for later use. Other treatments under investigation include egg preservation, collecting and freezing unfertilized eggs, removing and freezing a part of the ovary for later reimplantation, and using hormone therapy to protect the ovaries during chemotherapy. Women may be able to access these investigational approaches through enrolling in clinical trials.
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Thessaloniki ESHRE/ASRM-Sponsored PCOS Consensus Workshop Group. Consensus on infertility treatment related to polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2008 Mar;89(3):505-22. Epub 2008 Feb 20.
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