Infertility treatments 101
IVF is just one of the many treatments available to couples struggling with fertility
We’ve all heard of IVF, but that’s just one of the assisted reproductive technologies available to the one-in-six Australian couples who are struggling to conceive today.
With names like GIFT and ZIFT, the choice of fertility treatments on offer can seem overwhelming – like something out of an episode of Star Trek.
So, to bring things back down to earth, here's our quick-glance guide to just some of the ways infertility (or sub-fertility) can be treated.
IUI (IntraUterine Insemination)
A fine tube containing best quality 'washed' and treated sperm is inserted into the woman's vagina through the cervix and into the uterus. The aim is to get the sperm closer to the site of fertilisation and either the partner's sperm or donor sperm is used.
Insemination is carried out during the most fertile part of the woman's cycle (determined by daily blood-hormone tests), sometimes two or three days in a row.
IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation)
Eggs are gathered from the woman's ovaries and mixed with sperm. Fertilisation takes place in a flat glass dish (not in a test tube as is the popular belief and ‘test tube baby’ terminology). The fertilised egg or embryo is then transferred into the woman's uterus.
It sounds simple, but a single treatment cycle can take between six weeks and two months and will include phases where you have to have injections every day and undergo regular ultrasounds.
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