Starting a Family when Faced with Infertility
Having children is a dream that a lot of people share, and while potential parents might be ready to face the ups and downs of parenthood, not everyone is prepared to discover that they or their partner might have issues with infertility. This can be upsetting to hear at first, and there are many reasons why you might be struggling to get pregnant or seeing a pregnancy to term. While this can be distressing, it’s also important to remember that this doesn’t mean that you still can’t have the family that you have always wanted. There are plenty of options to explore for those who are facing fertility challenges, and below are some of the common causes of infertility, and a few options that you can look into if this is an issue you are dealing with.
What Causes Infertility?
If you have been trying to conceive for over a year but haven’t been able to get pregnant, this could indicate that you are infertile. Those who have been able to conceive but are unable to carry a pregnancy to term may also be diagnosed with infertility. A common cause of infertility include endometriosis, where the lining of the womb grows in the fallopian tubes or ovaries. Uterine fibroids and thyroid problems can also result in infertility. In men, it can be caused by low testosterone or low sperm count and motility. More mature couples who are trying to conceive might also struggle as infertility becomes more common as you age, as this is a natural progression of your reproductive system.
If you are facing any health issues, while you can keep trying to conceive naturally, it might also be time to start looking at other options for starting a family. This is mainly because struggling to conceive or dealing with frequent miscarriages can be incredibly traumatic and emotionally draining for those involved. If you think that you and your partner are ready to explore other options, they are as follows:
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a common treatment for those who are struggling to conceive. This process takes the female egg and male sperm and fertilizes the egg in a simulated womb environment in a lab. The fertilized egg is then placed returned to the womb to develop. You use your eggs and partners' sperm, or donor eggs and sperm, depending on your preferences and circumstances. IVF can help a lot of people achieve their dreams of having a family and experiencing pregnancy. However, it can be an expensive procedure and it doesn’t always work. You can find out more about IVF at the MCRM fertility clinic.
In uterine insemination (IUI) is another option you can explore, but rather than having the egg fertilized outside of the womb, sperm is placed into the uterine cavity by the doctor. The sperm is ‘washed’, meaning that seminal fluid is reduced, and this concentrates the sperm. This procedure also shortens the distance that the sperm has to travel to fertilize the egg, which can increase the chances of pregnancy. You will need to track your natural ovulation cycle and you might also need to take fertility medications to help encourage the chance of conception.
For those who are struggling to carry a pregnancy to term, the above options might not be ideal for you. Rather than risk miscarrying, you might want to look at using a surrogate to carry your child for you instead. IVF will be used to impregnate the surrogate with you and your partner's egg/sperm, or a donor’s if you have chosen to use one. You can contact a surrogacy agency to speak further about this option and to find a surrogate that you’re comfortable with.
It’s also important to remember that there are millions of children out there who are looking for parents. Whether their birth parents have died or chosen to put their children up for adoption for other reasons, kids of all ages are waiting to find a family that they can be a part of. Adoption is an incredible thing to do, and you will be changing not only your life but the life of that child for the better. This is certainly worth thinking about if you have been unsuccessful with the other options above, or because they aren’t paths that you want to pursue.
Looking at becoming a foster parent is another excellent choice, and a brilliant way to help kids in need. While foster care is not the same as adoption (their birth parents will still legally be their parents), you can welcome a child who needs a safe space to live and be nurtured. This can be a challenge at times, particularly if they have had a difficult home life previously, but it will be worth it. You might even end up adopting your foster children at some point, depending on the circumstances. However, even if you don’t, they will still be part of your family for life.
If you are facing challenges with your fertility and are ready to start looking at other options to start a family, consider the suggestions above and start researching them to find out which would work best for you.