Whether you’re male or female, finding out that you have fertility issues is never easy. However, you’re not alone – around one in seven couples experience difficulty when it comes to conceiving.

How do doctors treat infertility?

Infertility can be treated in a number of ways, with medicine, surgery, artificial insemination or assisted reproductive technology. In many cases, some of these methods are combined.

There are different ways to treat infertility in men and women, but generally, there are three main types of fertility treatment:

  • Medicines
  • Surgical procedures
  • Assisted conception – IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) and IVF (In vitro Fertilisation)

Treating infertility in men

  • Behavioural therapy or medicines – doctors can help with impotence or premature ejaculation with in some cases.
  • Male fertility drugs – thing like testosterone pills, clomiphene and letrozole can all contribute to the quality of sperm.
  • Surgery – sometimes a block in the man’s testes can cause a lack of sperm in semen. In most cases, surgery can correct this problem.

Treating infertility in women

  • Medicines – medicines such as clomifene, tamoxifen and metformin can all contribute to the release of an egg.
  • Surgery – fallopian tube surgery can be used to repair the tubes if they’re blocked or scarred, making it easier for eggs to pass along them. There are other types of surgery available to women which you can read about
  • Assisted conception – IUI and IVF.
  • Tracking your ovulation – are you having sex at the right time? Use our Ovulation Calculator to track your most fertile days and increase the likelihood of getting pregnant.

Natural ways to treat fertility in males and females

Sometimes infertility could simply be due to a lifestyle factor. There are a few things a couple should consider altering if they’re having difficulty getting pregnant. These include:

  • Diet – eating whole foods and cutting out sugar and processed foods really helps to balance hormones and increase sperm quality. It’s also recommended to decrease your weekly alcohol intake, or cut it out altogether.
  • Exercising – in the same way as a healthy diet, exercising contributes to hormonal balance and sperm quality.

Which is easier to treat?

The treatment available to men and women doesn’t differ drastically, and similar treatment options are available for both a man and a woman experiencing fertility problems. However, male infertility is possibly easier to diagnose. It’s easy for a man to produce a sperm sample and he can even test his own sperm count within the comfort of his own home. A woman’s reproductive organs are deep inside her pelvis, which means it’s more difficult to test for ovulation problems.

Whether it’s a fertility issue within a male or female, there are many treatment options and it’s entirely dependent on the individual case whether it’s particularly difficult or not. Infertility could simply be due to a certain lifestyle factor, like being overweight in which case it’s relatively simple to treat in both males and females.

If you’re concerned about your fertility, or are unsure about fertility treatments and the options available, book an appointment with your GP who will advise you about your eligibility for treatment.

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Andrew Drakeley

Mr Andrew Drakeley is the Clinical Director at the Hewitt Fertility Centre, working principally at the Liverpool Women’s site but with managerial responsibility for Knutsford.

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