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Fertility Treatments: What Are They and How Are They Different?

Thanks to Technology, Many People and Couples can Solve their Infertility Problem to Fulfill the Dream of Being Parents.

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LatinAmerican Post | María Fernanda Ramírez Ramos

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Leer en español: Tratamientos de fertilidad: ¿Cuáles son y en qué se diferencian?

On many occasions, it is often believed that infertility and sterility are synonymous. However, these two terms do not actually have the same meaning. According to the FIV Valencia assisted reproduction clinic, sterility is the inability that a couple has to conceive a baby, while infertility refers to the impossibility of completing the gestation process.

According to official reports from the World Health Organization (WHO), between 48 million couples and 186 million people suffer from infertility worldwide, and based on the reports presented by the specialized miniFIV assisted reproduction clinic, this inconvenient to conceive, has caused a 28% increase in fertility treatments in recent years.

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Fertility treatments

Currently, fertility methods have evolved thanks to technological advances that help many people and couples to solve infertility problems. However, if you and your partner are wondering which is the best option; They should know that this decision depends on the personal situation and the reason that causes the infertility.

So, we present to you the different types of fertility treatments and their differences:

Artificial insemination (AI)

According to miniFIV, this technique consists of introducing a sample of healthy sperm inside the uterus, in order to increase the chances of facilitating the fertilization process. Since in this process, it allows the distance that the spermatozoon travels towards the oculus to be much less.

It differs from In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), because fertilization occurs directly in the woman's uterus and not in the laboratory, as is the case with the following assisted reproduction method.

In vitro fertilization (IVF)

According to the miniFIV specialized assisted reproduction clinic, in vitro fertilization is one of the most extensive and highly complex assisted reproduction treatments, and consists of interweaving the egg with the sperm, through a chemical process carried out in the laboratory (in vitro), that is, it is performed outside the woman's body. All with the aim of obtaining already fertilized embryos.

In addition, it is important to mention that its effectiveness depends on several factors, such as the age of the woman and the quality of the sperm. On the other hand, the technology used for this type of technique makes its price really high.

Executing the IVF technique will obey the infertility conditions of each couple and the preferences that each assisted reproduction center handles. That is why, in this type of treatment, there are two types of IVF:

  • Regular IVF: Here the culture of the eggs and sperm are placed in the same dish, so that, after a while, they can unite on their own.
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): In this type of IVF, the sperm is embedded directly inside the egg, through a microinjection.

Egg donation

This type of treatment is designed for women who do not have the capacity to gestate an embryo on their own, according to reports from the assisted reproduction clinic (OVOCLINIC). Although this type of technique is based on in vitro fertilization, provided by a sperm or oocyte donor, it differs from embryo adoption, because this treatment has the possibility of having the sperm of the couple or the donor during fertilization, which that is impossible to do during embryo adoption.

In addition, it is important that oocyte or sperm donors are of legal age and under 35 years of age, and that they have a good mental and physical health. Without forgetting that they must not present a genetic history of risk, or infectious diseases.

Embryo adoption

As previously mentioned, the main difference between egg donation and this kind of assisted reproduction is that to carry out egg donation, the egg must be fertilized in the laboratory, while here an existing embryo is transferred, which has undergone a process of cryopreservation or freezing.

According to the medical journal Reproducción Asistida ORG, they report that, in this technique, the uterus must be prepared for the admission of the embryos, by means of vaginal tablets and skin patches; so that in a few days the embryos are thawed, and thus the transfer can be made on an outpatient basis without the need for hospitalization.

Infertility occurs in all genders

These problems do not only occur in women, since male infertility is also very present in world records. As stated by the non-profit organization Planneed Parenthood, in the case of men, infertility can occur due to several factors: such as not having enough sperm in the semen, suffering from untreated sexual diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, having sperm that they are not well-formed or that their mobility is insufficient and does not allow them to reach the ovum.

For this, there are a series of treatments that can help treat male infertility:

  • Hormone medications and treatments.
  • Medication to cure infections.
  • Treatments to help resolve issues related to sexual intercourse.
  • Surgeries.

In the same way, it is essential that you and your partner visit a specialist doctor, so that they can use the method that best suits your situation.

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