Reproductive Medicine Is More Than IVF
Because stories about “test tube babies” and IVF have been making headlines for decades, many people have come to associate reproductive medicine with in vitro fertilization. But, as patients at our Nevada fertility center quickly learn, IVF is just one of many options that reproductive endocrinologists have in their toolbox to help their patients become parents.
In fact, according to ASRM: “While vital for some patients, in vitro fertilization and similar treatments account for less than 3% of infertility services.”
Most couples and individuals who want a baby start out trying to conceive on their own, and when it seems like it is taking too long, they schedule a visit with an OBGYN. That’s a great place to start, especially for healthy, young people who aren’t in a hurry to have a baby. But for couples who have been trying longer, who are older, who are part of a same-sex couple, who have known fertility-related medical issues, or who have exhausted first-line treatment with an OBGYN, the next step is a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist.
Reproductive Medicine: Not “One Size Fits All”
Only a reproductive endocrinologist has the training, resources and experience to perform the most advanced reproductive medicine procedures. And while IVF is one of the most well-known of these, it’s not always the best treatment option for everyone.
Many patients come to our Nevada fertility center expecting to need IVF, but are happy to learn that other treatment options may be worth trying first. Which treatment is right for you depends on your diagnosis, which is why our fertility specialists perform a thorough assessment of each patient’s medical history, followed by a physical exam for the female partner and other tests for both the male and female partner.
This comprehensive approach to diagnosis gives your fertility specialist all the necessary information to determine which treatment approach is most likely to help you achieve pregnancy. For example:
- If you’re not ovulating regularly, fertility medications may be all you need to produce more eggs and conceive naturally.
- If you can ovulate with medication, but your partner has a male factor, intrauterine insemination may help his sperm or donor sperm reach your eggs.
- If tests discover blocked fallopian tubes, or if you are diagnosed with low ovarian reserve or severe male factor infertility, IVF may be right for you.
- If your partner’s sperm are alive but unable to swim to the egg, or there is a very low sperm count, IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can help achieve fertilization.
- For older women or those with severely diminished egg supply, IVF with donor eggs can achieve pregnancy at almost any age.
- For women with uterine issues or gay male couples, IVF with a gestational carrier (surrogate) can be utilized.
Beyond Diagnosis and Treatment
In addition to helping patients overcome infertility, reproductive medicine provides advanced family-building options for men and women of all genders. Our fertility specialists help single men, women and LGBT couples achieve pregnancy with donor gametes and/or surrogacy. Through the Donor Branch of FCLV, we work with generous egg donors who wish to give the gift of life and help others become parents.
We also provide fertility preservation through egg and sperm freezing, helping women and men ensure that their genetic material will be available in the future, whenever they are ready to become moms and dads. And, for patients concerned about chromosomal abnormalities or passing heritable diseases down to their children, we can arrange for genetic screening or diagnosis of embryos to increase the odds of a healthy baby.
Whatever your path to parenthood, the advanced reproductive medicine services at our Nevada fertility center can help you achieve your dreams. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.