What Other Alternatives Do I Have?

Amy Hendel Health Guide
  • Even modern science can sometimes fail us.  Obviously if you and your husband are unable to get a definitive diagnosis that explains your infertiltiy, then you may exhaust all the available fertility treatments.  Sometimes, even when it seems there is a clear diagnosis - you may still find yourselves trying multiple fertility treatments without success.  We all know couples who decide to adopt and presto, during the adoption proceedings or sometimes thereafter, they conceive and have a baby.  What is the explanation?  There really isn't any except that some experts believe the couple, especially the wife "calms down" and relaxes, and her body does the rest.  After all, undergoing testing and treatments that ultimately fail can be very stressful.  Experts wonder, if that increasing anxiety actually becomes the principle reason for the ongoing infertility - regardless of the initial cause.

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    If you cannot conceive, then there is the option called surrogacy.  In traditional surrogacy, another woman will carry a baby for you.  The baby is conceived with her egg(s) that is removed and fertilized with your partner's sperm.  Very often this can be a sister, other relative or close friend.  You can also go though an agency to hire a surrogate and there are costs involved, as well as a fee paid to the surrogate.  You do want to find a reputable surrogate and your OB/GYN may be able to help guide you.  In gestational surrogacy, your egg is fertilized by your partner's sperm, and those embryos created are transferred to the surrogate's womb.  She then carries the pregnancy to full term for you.  Here the product of conception is clearly yours, but you still want to go through appropriate channels to ensure that there are no legal problems during or after the delivery.


    Adoption is certainly an option, and of course, you are giving a home to a child who otherwise remains in the adoption/foster care system.  Though your heart may be set on having your own child, it is an option worth looking into, if you spend years trying to conceive and your age is beginning to become a factor - or if the increasing costs are becoming a financial burden.


    As a final note, it is important to consider things that may be affecting your fertility:

    • Smoking, even secondhand smoke, may reduce your fertility
    • Stress can affect fertility
    • Your diet - not getting enough anti-oxidants in the form fruits and vegetables
    • Vitamin E is important for men - increased doses may improve the sperms ability to swim
    • Mercury levels may interfere with fertility, so if you are an avid seafood lover, you might consider using fish oil capsules in order to get your omega-3s and lowering your intake of seafood while trying to get pregnant.
    • Obesity in women may be a leading fertility blocker, especially if you have polycystic ovarian disease.  Just a 5% reduction in weight can make a difference.
    • Women should take at least 400 mcgs. of folic acid/daily when considering pregnancy and a formulary called "Fertility Blend" which contains folic acid, B-6, B-12, iron, magnesium, zinc, L-arginine (an amino acid) selenium, chasteberry and green tea was clinically found to increase conception rates (Journal of Reproductive Medicine) - but men who have sperm problems might consider taking zinc and folic acid as well.
    • Sleep and pesticides have been recently implicated as possible contributors to fertility problems as well.


Published On: March 13, 2009