Struggling to conceive? Here are your options

We’ve written extensively on the very many reasons that lead couples to believe they’re infertile, we’ve listed the things that could affect your chances of getting pregnant, and we’ve shared the stories of so many women, and men, that have felt helpless as they struggle to conceive.

Because the ugly truth is, up to 20% of South African couples may suffer from infertility, while infertility has been ranked the fifth highest serious global disability by the World Health Organisation (WHO). But Dr Frances Paterson, urogynaecologist at The Urology Hospital Pretoria, explains that not all couples who experience fertility problems are actually infertile. It may just be a matter of couples going to see a doctor to pinpoint the problem before seeking treatment.

The fertility consultation & tests 

Dr Paterson says for about 80% of couples, the cause of infertility is either an ovulation problem, blockage of the fallopian tubes, or a sperm problem, all of which can be discussed in a consultation.

“A consultation may involve discussing your general health, medication, sexual history and a physical exam. For men, we may conduct a sperm analysis and for women, testing may include a physical examination, blood tests, an ultrasound and x-rays,” Dr Paterson added.

Fertility treatment options

Possible treatment for men includes surgery to help sperm motility, antibiotics to treat infections in the reproductive organs, medication and counselling to treat erection or ejaculation problems, or hormone treatment.

In women, fertility drugs or surgery to remove blockages or to open fallopian tubes may be considered. There are several other fertility treatment options, from in-uterine insemination (IUI) to invitro fertilisation (IVF). 

And then, you could also consider surrogacy, which is becoming increasingly popular, and adoption.

We’ve shared many stories of hope, faith and 6 years and 4 babies later, brand new life to love. In fact, there are more options available to us now than ever before. Have a look at the list below.

In-uterine insemination (IUI), invitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) 

The process:

Everything you need to know about IUI / IVF / ICSI

The IUI (AI) journey

Visiting a fertility clinic

The stories:

64-year-old Spanish woman gives birth to twins after IVF

From "unexplained fertility" to 13 eggs and 2 babies

‘Infertile’ couple went from no babies to five in just two years – but there were moments they thought they'd lost them

Egg and sperm donation

The process:

All about egg donation

Fact vs Fiction: The truth behind egg donation

Why donor-conceived children need to know their origins

Fresh vs Frozen eggs

Single egg is best!

The stories:

Being an egg donor

A woman’s best friend helps her conceive by donating her eggs

Surrogacy

The process:

Q&A: All you need to know about surrogacy

Surrogacy: The proposed law against the "genetic-link requirement" and the ConCourt ruling

The stories:

“My endometriosis led to me having a child via surrogacy"

‘I’m having my husband’s sister’s baby!'

Robynne’s story: “We had a baby via a surrogate”


Click here for: Fertility clinics in South Africa to get started.

Other weird and wonderful treatments worth mentioning

From acupuncture to... urine therapy? Here are a few weird and wonderful treatments you can look into as well, along with a list of simple, but often forgotten, ways to optimise your chances of getting pregnant:

Acupuncture: The infertility cure?

Treating infertility with urine therapy

What is hypno-fertility?

The facts about Clinical Hypno-Fertility

WATCH: Yes, stressing about getting pregnant may be the reason you’re not getting pregnant

What pill should every woman take?

WATCH: Your wonderfully creamy, egg-white cervical fluid and how tracking it may help you fall pregnant

Can cupping cure infertilty?

Finally, keep track of your ovulation with our ovulation calculator. It could very well be a matter of trying, and trying often, at just the right time.

Chat back:

Did you struggle to conceive? Did any of the above fertility treatments help in getting you pregnant? Tell us by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your letters. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

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