Why is infertility treatment important
There are various options for fertility treatment. The decision on which method to use depends largely on which problem was found in the woman or the man. For example, hormone preparations are used when a woman's cycle is disturbed. Surgery can sometimes help with fibroids. In men, too, depending on the cause of the fertility disorder, hormonal or surgical treatments, for example, may be an option.
If the man is producing very little semen, or if the sperm move poorly, the semen can be transferred directly to the woman's uterus. This treatment is called insemination. It can also be considered if a couple cannot have sexual intercourse or if the mucus in the area of the cervix (cervical mucus) cannot be penetrated by the sperm cells. An alternative is artificial insemination (in vitro fertilization, IVF): Here, egg cells are removed from the woman with a thin hollow needle through the vagina and, after the procedure, brought together with the man's sperm. Before this, the woman's ovaries must be stimulated by hormone treatment to release several mature egg cells at the same time in a cycle. This hormone treatment can be very stressful because of its side effects.
Fertilization takes place outside the woman's body in the laboratory. In IVF, sperm cells are added to an egg cell, which they then fertilize by themselves. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves injecting a sperm cell directly into an egg cell with a fine needle.
If fertilization was successful and the egg cells continue to develop, the doctor will insert a maximum of three embryos into the uterus after a few days. In the event that more egg cells have developed into embryos, they can either be frozen (cryopreserved) or destroyed at the woman's request. This also applies to egg cells in the so-called pronuclear stage, in which the chromosome sets of the sperm cell and the egg cell have not yet completely fused with one another. Cryopreserved embryos or fertilized eggs can be thawed and inserted at a later cycle if the initial transfer was unsuccessful.
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