- Intrauterine insemination (IUI). Also known as artificial insemination. It involves implanting sperm in the uterus.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF). Combines the sperm and eggs in a lab. After the egg is fertilized and the cells begin dividing, it becomes an embryo. The embryo, or more than 1, is then implanted into the uterus.
There are many reasons couples may have trouble conceiving, including age or fertility problems on the part of either partner. Even stress can play a part in infertility. After a year of trying to conceive with no results, or 6 months for women over age 35, it may be time to consult a doctor.1
Depending on the cause, there may be treatments or surgeries that can help. Consider using assisted reproductive technology (ART), procedures that rely on technology to help with conception:1
Fertility treatments can be very expensive. For instance, a single cycle of IVF can cost between $12,000 and $15,000, and more than one IVF cycle is often needed.2 Your health insurance may cover part of the cost, and some employers even offer fertility benefits coverage. Once you’ve gotten a diagnosis and a recommendation for treatment, it’s a good idea to call your health insurance company to understand exactly what is covered. Also, if you have a health savings account (HSA), you could use that money to pay for fertility treatments, since they’re considered a qualified medical expense.
If you had a hard time with a previous pregnancy, are over age 35, have health problems or develop them during pregnancy, your pregnancy may be classified as high-risk. In other cases, a suspected problem with the development of the baby could also make it high-risk.
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you may be referred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists, or perinatologists, are obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYNs) with 2 to 3 extra years of training.3 They can help evaluate and monitor the health of the mother and baby during a high-risk pregnancy, through the birth, and afterwards. They can even be consulted before conception by families who have existing health problems or a family history of health problems.