The infertility maze starts with testing and determining a diagnosis. After all, we cannot serious talk about what to do if we do not know what is wrong.
Perhaps a harder process is to decide what treatment to have. I think that this step is often difficult for the physician as much as the patient. Infertility suffers from poor studies and conflicting results. But think about it for a moment, the ideal study would be to identify a large number of couples with the same problem and then to randomly assign the couples to one of two treatments and then see who has the most babies for the lowest cost.
Would you sign up for such a study when the computer chooses your care by a random number but yet you have to pay for the treatment? I bet not and you would not be alone, so now you understand the reason for poor data – no external funds and an unwillingness to allow a computer to decide for you. More about this later.
Clearly, we base our treatment decisions on what is wrong. So, if someone has no sperm then donor sperm or adoption – oh, no another decision!
Seriously, we do try to correct known problems but often we still need other ways to enhance fertility. We have several primary options: OI (ovulation induction), IUI (intrauterine insemination), COH/IUI (controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization).[/expand]
I refer you to Wikipedia for a detailed discussion of Fertility [ilink url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertility”]Fertility Definition[/ilink] Please note from this resource that providing an accurate number is somewhat problematic.
Here is a graph of the likelihood of pregnancy if every month the success rate remains the same, which is not a completely accurate assumption.
According to Henri Leridon, PhD, an epidemiologist with the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, women trying to get pregnant, without using fertility drugs or in vitro fertilization have the following real-life chances:
The following data come from women who used donor sperm for insemination. Most of these women had partners with severe male factor or the women were lesbian. None of the women had female infertility factors.