Successful treatment for infertility presupposes an accurate diagnosis of the cause. Further, appropriate treatment requires that we utilize the least invasive, most cost-effective therapy that is likely to work – given our diagnosis. You wouldn’t go chasing after a mosquito with a shotgun. Nor would you hunt lions with a fly swatter!
There are a number of different regimens used to treat infertility. Some are medical, some are surgical and some are combinations of both. Each has its unique advantages and disadvantages. Infertility treatment can usually be divided into a few simple categories.
Medications that help restore normal ovulation in a patient who is not currently ovulating on a regular basis. These can be either oral or injectable medications. So called superovulation include the use of the same medications used for ovulation induction but in this case they are used for patients who are currently ovulating. The idea is to stimulate a moderate increase in the eggs ovulated each cycle. This increases the chances of a good egg being released.
IUI’s are often, but not always, combined with ovulation induction or superovulation. This procedure consists of “prepping” a man’s sperm to increase the quality, usually the motility, and then inserting directly into the upper uterus in a procedure similar to a pap smear.
IVF remains the gold standard for tubal disease and severe male factor infertility. It has also become the mainstay when lesser treatments are unsuccessful. See our section under IVF overview for details of this modality.
Live Birth Rates*
* Live birth per embryo transfer as reported to the CDC 2015
Disclaimer: a comparison of clinical success rates may not be meaningful because patient medical characteristics and treatment approaches may vary from clinic to clinic.