Some trends in fertility treatment gaining in popularity today rose out of months-long isolation and the tendency toward introspection. More couples are opting to put off pregnancy until realizing certain life goals. Single women who want children but haven’t found the right partner are deciding to pursue motherhood on their own.
New treatment options for women over 40 prove to be working well and there is a rise in fertility preservation. Same-sex couples now see parenthood as a very viable opportunity and natural fertility treatments such as natural cycle IVF and minimally invasive IVF have gained in popularity. All in all, the future of fertility treatment holds plenty of promise.
The Gift of Time
As more and more women focus on furthering their education or realizing career goals, conceiving a baby is put on the back burner. Of course, those plans often take a turn when early menopause and diminished ovarian reserve interfere with fertility. While there’s no way to halt the progression of time, assisted reproductive medicine helps you keep your options open.
Oocyte cryopreservation is one of the most popular fertility preservation methods for many women. Also known as elective egg freezing, cryopreservation offers women in their 20s and 30s the possibility of postponing pregnancy until they feel ready.
You are born with all the eggs you’ll ever have and as you age your ovarian reserve diminishes. Not only the quantity of eggs but the quality of eggs which are viable also dwindles with time. That’s why mothers-to-be over the age of 35 are at risk of bearing children with chromosomal abnormalities which result in birth defects.
When you choose to preserve your eggs, you’re giving yourself the gift of time. Cryopreservation is available for women of any reproductive age although you have your healthiest eggs in your 20s and 30s. In years past, the success rate was mediocre at best for thawing and fertilization. Advances in the method of freezing in recent years mean your success rate is much higher than before.
Once your doctor removes the eggs, they can test and identify chromosome-normal eggs for freezing. It’s safe to freeze your eggs for a few days, months or years, until you are ready to pursue pregnancy. At that point the lab fertilizes your eggs and implants them into your uterus as an IVF procedure. There is a very high success rate for pregnancy.
Single Mom by Choice
Women who choose single motherhood in lieu of waiting to find the right partner have options as well. You may choose to pursue pregnancy via intrauterine insemination (IUI) whereby, using a catheter, the doctor inserts a high concentration of healthy donor sperm into your uterus, very near the egg, and fertilization occurs.
Another option is IVF. The lab fertilizes your eggs or donor eggs using donor sperm. Genetic testing helps identify healthy embryos which the doctor implants into your uterus. Once the doctor confirms pregnancy, you’ll continue to see your fertility specialist until about the tenth week, when you regular obstetrician takes over.
In the last few years, the number of same-sex couples pursuing parenthood exploded. Nationally, about 120,000 same-sex couples currently have children. A popular method for creating these precious bundles of joy is through assisted reproductive medicine. Biology tells us pregnancy requires an egg (woman) and sperm (man). In the absence of one or the other, fertility treatment becomes necessary.
For male couples the option is egg donation and the services of a gestational carrier. Some men choose a friend or family member for each role and some use anonymous donor eggs and a gestational carrier obtained through an agency specializing in surrogacy.
Female same-sex couples typically choose pregnancy using donor sperm as their path to parenthood. One partner carries the pregnancy using her own egg, her partner’s egg, and donor sperm from a friend or family member, or an anonymous third party.
Natural Cycle and Minimally Invasive IVF
Even with all the advances in safe reproductive medicine, there are still those couples and individuals who prefer to limit the amount of hormonal medication necessary for traditional IVF. For those who feel that way there are two options gaining in popularity.
Natural cycle IVF suits some patients, especially those for whom traditional IVF yielded very low egg numbers and wasn’t successful. Because this method uses no ovary stimulating medications, some of the cost and side effects are absent. The procedure to collect the eggs is shorter, and you’ll require less monitoring, so you’ll have fewer clinic visits.
Minimally invasive IVF is similar to natural cycle IVF in that it relies on your body’s natural ovulation. With this method of IVF low-dose hormones assist your natural ovulation, and a trigger injection of HCG matures the egg.
With both methods you will have fewer eggs, lowering your odds of a healthy embryo. Some people believe the absence of ovarian stimulants results in higher-quality eggs, even though this has been proven not to be true.
You Have Options
The good news? Advanced reproductive medicine offers options to those previously without any hope for pregnancy. If you’re interested in pursuing any of these trends in fertility treatment contact LA IVF to schedule a consultation.