There are a number of different assisted conception treatments that may be available to you depending on the reasons you're having trouble. All of them aim to increase your chance of pregnancy by enhancing what happens in nature, through increasing the number of sperm that get to where the egg is, and/or increasing the number of eggs available for fertilisation.
The chance of pregnancy with any assisted conception technique will depend on:
- The woman's age
- The reason/s why pregnancy hasn't happened naturally
- The expertise and technology of the clinic
- The strength and quality of the embryos that a couple produce.
For couples experiencing infertility due to an extremely low (or zero) sperm count, no ovulation or completely blocked fallopian tubes - assisted conception will be the only way that pregnancy is possible. Couples with subfertility have a chance of becoming pregnant naturally, but that chance is reduced by factors such as a low sperm count, irregular ovulation, endometriosis, scarring of the fallopian tubes, fibroids or the increasing age of the woman. In about 1 in 5 couples, no apparent explanation for subfertility can be found. For any of these subfertile couples, assisted conception can speed up the process of becoming pregnant.
The main techniques for assisting conception are:
- Assisted insemination (also known as intrauterine insemination, or IUI)
- Ovulation induction
- In vitro fertilisation (IVF) and variations of IVF