Infertility Treatment Options
- Ovulation Induction
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- Donor Insemination
- Ultrasound Services
- Laboratory Services
The General Fertility Program of the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) involves all clinical services associated with human reproduction, which do not pertain to ART, including ovulation induction, artificial insemination (IUI) and gynecoradiology. Until recently, this represented a large majority of all human reproduction services provided at CHR. However, in recent years, pregnancy rates with IVF (in-vitro fertilization) have greatly improved. As a consequence of our learned ability to select high quality embryos, we now can transfer fewer embryos without affecting pregnancy rates. Consequently, IVF gives us much better control over the risk of high order multiple births. (CHR recently reported this in a study which attained national and international attention and will affect general practice patterns. To request a full reprint of this article, visit Scientific Publications.) Consequently, non-ART related fertility treatments seem to be decreasing in utilization and importance in the field of human reproduction. However, they will always have a role within a comprehensive infertility treatment program and are offered by CHR in all of their detail.
Infertility treatment options explained by Dr. David Barad.
Ovulation Induction involves the administration of either oral or injectable fertility medications, to either establish ovulation (where a woman otherwise does not ovulate), improve the ovulation process or convert the usually unifollicular, monthly ovulation process into a polyfollicular process, to enhance conception chances. Whatever the indication for ovulation induction treatment, a conversion to a polyfollicular response will always take place. The woman has a greater chance of getting pregnant, but, consequently, any form of ovulation induction will be characterized by an increased risk of multiple births.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) | Artificial Insemination
Artificial insemination, also known as intrauterine insemination (IUI), is usually recommended to accompany ovulation induction cycles to increase pregnancy chances. When an IUI is performed, the partner's semen, after its seminal plasma has been washed off, is directly injected into the uterus. IUIs empirically improve pregnancy rates over regular intercourse, when male infertility is a factor. They also improve pregnancy rates if cervical factor infertility is present (i.e. the cervical mucus inactivates semen motility) and in the presence of mildly abnormal semen, which can constitute a case of general male infertility . Read more about IUI.
Artificial insemination is also performed through donor insemination, which involves the same process as described for IUI, except that the semen sample comes from a donor. CHR works with reputable sperm banks from which such donor semen samples are procured by the patient for artificial insemination.
Gynecoradiology is an acronym that denotes the use of x-ray equipment to diagnose and treat causes of infertility. Investigators at CHR have been leaders in the field of gynecoradiology since its inception. CHR is currently the only fertility center in the nation with dedicated x-ray equipment at most locations. Most other fertility centers refer patients to radiology departments.
The principle advantage of gynecoradiology lies in its superior diagnostic capabilities, which virtually replace the utilization of diagnostic laparoscopy as a diagnostic tool. In doing so, the patient is saved a surgical procedure, general anesthesia and cost. In addition, gynecoradiology allows for immediate intervention in a minimally invasive fashion, again replacing major surgical procedures.
For example, based primarily on research at CHR, proximal tubal occlusions are now routinely treated by transvaginal tubal catheterization procedures rather than, as used to be the case, major abdominal surgery. Similarly, intrauterine adhesions (Asherman's syndrome), uterine septae and other uterine as well as tubal pathology can be treated in an ambulatory fashion, with the patient observing the procedure on a screen.
Gynecoradiology procedures can be viewed in more detail by Clicking Here.
Ultrasound Services are an integral part of any infertility treatment. Every CHR center is equipped with state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment and offers all relevant services.
Laboratory Services are crucial for any infertility center. While many fertility programs outsource all of their laboratory work, CHR strongly believes that key laboratory tests should be performed in-house. CHR maintains its own andrology laboratory services, which are also available to physicians outside of CHR. We also maintain our own endocrinology laboratory and one of the leading specialty laboratories in reproductive immunology.
All of CHR's laboratory services are primarily meant to benefit CHR patients but are available to patients of other physicians as well.
Last Updated: October 31, 2011