Infertility doesn’t have to bring your journey to parenthood to an end. Hopeful parents who experience infertility can grow their families thanks to medical advances.
Contact a surrogacy professional today if you’re ready to discuss how surrogacy can help you have a baby.
Couples who want to grow their families have five options for infertility treatment and ways to grow their family:
- Trying fertility drugs
- Considering medical infertility procedures
- Finding a sperm, egg, or embryo donor
- Growing your family through surrogacy
Continue reading to learn more about the five family-building options for infertility.
1. Trying Fertility Drugs
If you and your partner are unable to get pregnant after having a year of regular, unprotected sex (or six months if you’re 35 or older), your doctor may first try less invasive infertility options like medications.
A few common fertility drugs physicians prescribe include:
Oral Medication Options for Infertility
A doctor may start with oral medications before moving on to injectable drugs. Common oral fertility medications are:
- Clomiphene: This prescription can help regulate ovulation
- Cabergoline and bromocriptine: These drugs can lower hormone levels that impact ovulation
Injectable Hormone Options for Infertility
There are quite a few injectable medications people can administer at home that can boost fertility. Most of these drugs stimulate ovulation and regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG)
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH agonist)
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (GnRH antagonist)
2. Considering Medical Infertility Procedures
If fertility medications alone don’t work for you and your partner, you can still become a parent through infertility medical procedures.
Infertility Options Other Than IVF
Your doctor will likely start with medical infertility options other than IVF. These may include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Sperm is collected, washed, and then placed into the uterine cavity.
- Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT): This infertility option involves eggs and sperm being removed from the intended parents and then directly placed in the female partner’s uterus.
- Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT): This infertility option is similar to GIFT, but a doctor will fertilize the egg before they place it into the female partner’s fallopian tube.
Moving on to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
If you and your partner have already tried infertility options other than IVF and have not got pregnant, your doctor will likely suggest trying a round of IVF.
IVF has many steps, which include:
- Screening to make sure IVF could work for you
- Fertility medications
- Pre-gamete-retrieval tests
- Sperm and egg cell collection from intended parents or donor gamete use
- Fertilization at the fertility clinic
- Testing for pregnancy
Other Medical Infertility Options That Enhance IVF
Sometimes, a doctor will use the following additional infertility treatment options to increase a couple’s chance of conceiving with IVF.
3. Finding a Sperm, Egg, or Embryo Donor
If your doctor determines that you, your partner, or both of you cannot use your gametes, they may suggest infertility treatment options where you can use donor gametes. Your doctor can direct you to gamete donor clinics where you can choose to work with an anonymous or identified donor/s.
If you or your partner experiences difficulties carrying a pregnancy, you may want to consider surrogacy.
4. Growing Your Family Through Surrogacy
Surrogacy involves you and your partner (intended parents), a surrogate, and, most often, a surrogacy agency.
Surrogacy is a wonderful option for people who are in a:
- Partnership and have tried other infertility treatment options
- LBGT couple
- Hopeful single parent
You can use your and your partner’s gametes or donor gametes during your surrogacy journey. The surrogate you work with is a gestational carrier and not related to your child.
Why You Should Work With a Surrogacy Agency
Although you could choose to carry out your surrogacy on your own, intended parents benefit from working with a surrogacy agency. The following are just a few of the benefits that surrogacy agencies provide:
- A surrogacy agency provides you with a surrogacy professional who offers emotional and practical support throughout the surrogacy journey
- Referrals to other essential surrogacy professionals
- A surrogacy agency will ensure your journey is safe and that your rights and finances are protected
- Pre-screened surrogate match-making services
When choosing a surrogacy agency to work with, keep in mind that national surrogacy agencies often have shorter wait times. For example, we used market research to discover that most surrogacy agencies have an average wait time of 12 to 18 months. But, American Surrogacy’s average wait time for intended parents is only 30 to 90 days from activation to match.
Starting Your Path to Parenthood
There are many options for infertility that you and your partner can consider. Although working through infertility isn’t easy, you will have many infertility options to pursue when you’re ready.
Contact a surrogacy professional today if you are ready to pursue surrogacy to build your family.