Before IVF: Lower-Intervention Female Infertility Treatments To Try

Posted on: 23 March 2022


When you hear the term "infertility treatments," what comes to mind? Most people think of IVF, or in vitro fertilization. Indeed, IVF is a common way for couples dealing with infertility to conceive. However, it is not always the first treatment your doctor recommends. In many cases, your doctor will advise you to try at least one of these less invasive, less expensive female infertility treatments first.

Lifestyle Changes

When you first speak with your doctor about your struggle to conceive, they will often talk with you about your lifestyle. What are you eating? Are you getting enough sleep? How much are you exercising? If anything jumps out to your doctor as a possible explanation for your infertility, they may recommend making some changes to your lifestyle. You may be advised to exercise more or less, make changes to your diet, lose weight, lower your stress levels, and so forth. Often, you'll need to stick with the lifestyle modifications for a few months in order to see whether they make a difference in your fertility.

Fertility Medications

If lifestyle changes alone don't improve your fertility, then your doctor may prescribe a medication to encourage you to ovulate. You'll be given specific instructions as to when to take this medication. You'll also be told when to have intercourse in order to maximize your chances of conceiving. There are a number of different medications that can be used for this purpose. Most work by raising your levels of HCG, FSH, and other hormones that trigger ovulation. If one medication does not work for you, then your doctor may recommend trying a second one.

Natural Intrauterine Insemination

If fertility treatments are not working for you, then another approach to consider is natural intrauterine insemination. For this procedure, your doctor will obtain a semen sample from your partner. This semen will then be injected directly into your uterus, through the cervix, when you are established to be ovulating. This can be a great approach for women with small cervical openings or irregular cervical angles that make natural conception a challenge. You should know within a few days of the treatment whether or not you've conceived.

In some cases, IVF is the best option for patients struggling with infertility. However, it is not the only option to consider. Talk to your health care provider for more information about the infertility treatment options that are available to you.