Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, artificial insemination or assisted reproductive technology. Many times these treatments are combined. About two-thirds of couples who are treated for infertility are able to have a baby. In most cases infertility is treated with drugs or surgery.
Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility based on:
- test results
- how long the couple has been trying to get pregnant
- the age of both the man and woman
- the overall health of the partners
- preference of the partners
Doctors often treat infertility in men in the following ways:
- Sexual problems: If the man is impotent or has problems with premature ejaculation, doctors can help him address these issues. Behavioral therapy and/or medicines can be used in these cases.
- Too few sperm: If the man produces too few sperm, sometimes surgery can correct this problem. In other cases, doctors can surgically remove sperm from the male reproductive tract. Antibiotics can also be used to clear up infections affecting sperm count.
Various fertility medicines are often used to treat women with ovulation problems. It is important to talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of these medicines. You should understand the risks, benefits, and side effects.
Doctors also use surgery to treat some causes of infertility. Problems with a woman’s ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus can sometimes be corrected with surgery.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is another type of treatment for infertility. IUI is known by most people as artificial insemination. In this procedure, the woman is injected with specially prepared sperm. Sometimes the woman is also treated with medicines that stimulate ovulation before IUI.
IUI is often used to treat:
- mild male factor infertility
- women who have problems with their cervical mucus
- couples with unexplained infertility