Ovulation induction is a medical procedure to stimulate the release of mature eggs from the ovaries. It is a simple procedure, which involves the patient taking oral or injectable fertility medication every day, starting with the second day of the menstrual cycle. The patient continues their course of medication throughout the cycle, monitored by regular ultrasound scans. The medication and dosage are tailored to the individual patient by their doctor. The doctor studies the progress of the menstrual cycle via regular ultrasound scans. They may recommend timed intercourse according to their findings, to maximize chances of a successful pregnancy. Ovulation induction could cause the release of multiple eggs in one cycle, resulting in multiple pregnancies, i.e. twins or triplets.
Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI)
Intra-uterine insemination is an artificial insemination procedure to treat infertility. Intra-uterine insemination is recommended to couples with male ejaculatory dysfunction, or when the couple decides to collaborate with a sperm donor. The first step of intra-uterine insemination is to harvest the sperm. The male partner or the sperm donor will be asked to provide a semen sample. As the non-sperm components of the semen could cause reactions with the female reproductive tract, affecting the chances of a successful pregnancy, they are washed away and the sperm cells are isolated and concentrated for insemination.
The timing of intrauterine insemination is crucial, so the female partner’s uterus is monitored regularly using ultrasound scans. The doctor may also recommend medications to stimulate ovulation. At the time of ovulation, the doctor injects the concentrated sperm cells into the uterus through a trans-vaginal catheter. After insemination, the patient may be asked to lie on their back for a few minutes. They can take a pregnancy test after two weeks to check if the insemination was successful.
In-vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In-vitro fertilization is an assisted reproductive technique to help couples who struggle with fertility to have biological children. It involves retrieving sperm and egg cells from the parents and fertilising them to form an embryo under laboratory conditions. The embryo can then be frozen for later use or implanted in the woman’s uterus. Depending on the fertility status of the partners, they may be required to use a donor sperm or donor egg. The doctor can also implant the embryos in a gestational carrier, who will carry the pregnancy to term instead of the biological mother. IVF can also help couples with a history of genetic illnesses to choose an embryo without those problematic genes. This gives their child an improved chance at a healthier, happier life.
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