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May 30, 2024

10 Things You Might Not Know About Fertility Treatments

Fertility treatments are often viewed through a narrow lens, focusing primarily on the well-known aspects such as IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and hormonal therapies. 

However, there’s a wealth of information that many people are unaware of. Understanding these details can provide a clearer picture of what to expect and help in making informed decisions. Here’s a look at ten surprising things you might not know about fertility treatments.

Ten things you might not know about fertility treatments.

1. Fertility Treatments Are Not Just for Women

Infertility affects both men and women equally. In fact, male infertility is the sole cause in approximately 20-30% of cases. It’s crucial to understand that fertility treatments often involve evaluating and treating both partners.

2. Insurance Coverage for Fertility Treatments Varies

Fertility treatments can be costly, but some employers offer fertility benefits. In the UK, private health insurance may cover some aspects of fertility treatment, and certain NHS trusts also provide funding, though availability can vary by region.

3. Age Affects Fertility in Both Genders

While it’s well-known that a woman’s fertility declines with age, men are also affected, though the decline is more gradual. Women experience a steep drop in fertility after age 35, while men’s fertility decline is more subtle but still significant.

4. Mental Health is Crucial During Treatment

The emotional toll of fertility treatments can be overwhelming. Feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression are common. Seeking support from a counsellor or joining a support group can provide emotional relief and a sense of community during this challenging time.

5. There Are Multiple Types of Fertility Treatments

From medications and surgery to assisted reproductive technologies like IVF, there are various treatments available. The right treatment depends on the underlying cause of infertility and other individual factors.

6. Success Rates Vary by Treatment and Age

The success rate of fertility treatments, especially IVF, can vary widely. For instance, IVF has about a 60-70% success rate in the best circumstances, but this can increase with multiple cycles. Factors such as age and the specific fertility issue also play a critical role.

7. Recovery from Procedures Can Differ Among Individuals

Procedures like egg retrieval are typically quick, but recovery times can vary. Some women feel fine the next day, while others may experience residual discomfort or nausea due to anaesthesia. It’s important to listen to your body and consult your doctor if you have concerns.

8. Taking a Break Can Be Beneficial

Sometimes, taking a break between treatment cycles can be advantageous. It allows your body and mind to recover and can provide a much-needed emotional respite, helping you return to treatment with renewed energy and perspective.

9. Fertility Treatments Can Involve Unanticipated Aspects

For example, during embryo transfer, a full bladder is needed for better ultrasound visualisation, which can be uncomfortable and sometimes lead to unintended consequences like urinary accidents. Knowing these details can help manage expectations and reduce embarrassment.

10. Lifestyle Changes Can Improve Treatment Outcomes

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a balanced diet, can significantly improve your chances of success with fertility treatments. It’s often recommended to make these changes well before starting treatment.

Key Takeaways

Understanding these aspects of fertility treatments can help prepare you for the journey ahead. For more information, here’s a detailed guide on things to know before a fertility treatment. 

Remember, consulting with a fertility specialist can provide personalised advice tailored to your situation.

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