For most couples, becoming a parent is extremely easy. It may take a couple of months to successfully conceive naturally, but eventually, all that trying pays off. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case for everyone. For us, we were told we wouldn’t have been able to conceive without help, but then got unexpectedly lucky later on!
There are various reasons why parenthood doesn’t come naturally to couples, most of which are to do with an individual’s health or fertility. But just because you and your partner are unable to conceive naturally, it doesn’t mean that you should give up on your dream of parenthood. Thanks to modern developments in fertility sciences, there are now a few different routes you can take. Simply read on to find out more.
Medicines To Improve Fertility
If either person in a couple has a low fertility, there are some medicines that they can try to improve this matter. Generally speaking, most of these medicines are prescribed to the woman, but some can also be given to men if the need calls for it. One condition that affects female fertility is polycystic ovarian syndrome. It’s something I’ve sort of been diagnosed with (though nothing was ever concrete). Women who have this condition are often given metformin to help increase their fertility. Gonadotrophins are more commonly given to women to encourage ovulation, but they are also sometimes given to men to increase their fertility.
There are many reasons why a woman might experience fertility issues, but the main problems often relate to the eggs. For instance, women who have gone through a premature menopause will not be able to produce their own eggs. Chemotherapy often reduces a woman’s number of eggs as well. Women in these kinds of situations can join an egg donor program. One of the benefits of choosing to go down the donor route is that it delivers the highest rates of pregnancy success. Couples can look through the medical histories of anonymous donors to choose the eggs they receive. They will also be able to find out about all of the donor’s characteristics.
IVF (in vitro fertilisation) is available for couples who would rather not use a donor’s eggs. Some of the woman’s eggs are removed and then mixed together with her partner’s sperm in a laboratory. Fertilised eggs – known as embryos – are then placed into the woman’s womb. If all goes well, one of the embryos should attach itself to the wall and grow. However, this is not always the case, and IVF is not 100% successful. Plus, it is important to remember that this method of conception can often produce twins and even triplets!
IUI (intrauterine insemination) is slightly different from IVF as it requires the man’s sperm to be injected straight into his partner’s womb. This treatment is only available to certain people on the NHS, including women who are unable to have vaginal sex and those who have a condition that leaves them with fertility difficulties. It is also available to same/sex couples who have already attempted IVF. If you feel that this method of conception would work for you, but you are not eligible to get it through the NHS, you can always pay to get it done privately. The IUI treatment needs to be precisely timed to fit in with the woman’s natural cycle so it is important that this is carefully tracked beforehand. If your partner has a very low sperm count, it may be necessary to use donor sperm during this treatment.
Of course, some couples struggle with medical treatment and will go through many traumatic failures. In these cases, there is one option available: adoption. There are lots of children currently in care because they have lost both of their parents or because their parents and other family relatives are unable to look after them. Adopting can be a long process, so it is best to start it sooner rather than later. First of all, you need to apply through your local council. You will need to be approved as an adopter before you are matched with a baby or child. This means that the authorities will do a thorough background check and make sure that you are up to all the responsibilities that come with having a child. Once you are an approved adopter, you will be matched with a child.
As you can see, there is no reason why you cannot be parents if either you or your partner have fertility problems. It may just take a little longer than planned! If you are interested in finding out more about these various methods, be sure to speak to your family doctor.
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