Maximising your chances of getting pregnant can sometimes be a matter of the small things, such as cutting out alcohol, improving your diet, exercising regularly and keeping at a healthy weight. However, if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, and still no luck, it is time for you to book an appointment with your local GP.
Typically, your GP will follow the process of referring you to the fertility clinic, usually based in your registered hospital, where they will discuss the different fertility treatment options available. The staff at this clinic will decide on the fertility option that is best suited to you and will give you the very best chance of conceiving. The option they choose will be based on a wide range of different factors, ranging from your age to your medical history to the cause of your fertility struggle.
Before visiting the fertility clinic, it is important to understand that there is no single fertility treatment that is guaranteed to work for everyone. So, what are your options:
Fertility medicines tend to be prescribed to the woman, not the man, and that is because these medicines concentrate on helping with any ovulation problems that may be occurring. These problems could be that you have a very irregular cycle and your ovulation is extremely unpredictable, it could be that you aren’t producing enough eggs, or it could be down to the failure of your pituitary gland. Whatever it is, there are medicines that are specifically designed to address these issues. The most common fertility medicine is called clomifene.
- Surgical Procedure
For some people, it may be that surgery is the most effective way to treat a structural issue, which will in turn increase your chances of conceiving naturally. There are two main surgical procedures for men – varicocele repair or vasectomy reversal – whilst there are four main options available to women. The most common is surgery on the fallopian tube. These are the tubes that lead from the ovaries to the uterus, and they can sometimes become blocked or scarred, thus preventing your ability to get pregnant. Other treatment options in this area include laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis, a myomectomy for uterine fibroids and lastly ovarian drilling. This is considered when neither weight loss or medicine have not managed to stimulate ovulation in those who have polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Assisted Conception
This typically refers to intrauterine insemination, in which a sperm is placed into the uterus, which can be effective in cases that involve mild sperm problems. The other major form of assisted conception is known IVF, which stands for in vitro fertilisation. This is the process of mixing sperm and eggs externally of the body and then carefully placing back into the uterus. This treatment is used for a wide range of issues around fertility, as well as the more complicated sperm problems and cases whereby infertility remains unexplainable. Access to this form of treatment can differ depending on location, especially with regards to waiting lists, however your GP will able to provide you with more detail on this front.