Once a couple has been evaluated and their infertility issues have been identified, it's time to decide the best course of treatment. There are several treatment options available at Gundersen Health System Fertility Center.
Fertility procedures that require laboratory handling of the sperm and egg are called Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). ART can be used for treatment of:
- Moderate to severe male infertility, including low sperm count, low sperm motility and blocked or missing male reproductive tubes
- Fallopian tube blockage or severe damage, including tubal ligations or damage caused by pelvic infections
- Severe pelvic scar tissue which may be caused by endometriosis or infections (including appendicitis)
- Endometriosis, especially when other treatments have not lead to pregnancy
- Anti-sperm antibodies
- Unexplained infertility
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common and best known form of ART. Learn more about IVF.
Additions to the IVF process may include:
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves injecting a sperm directly into the egg. This procedure helps men who have extremely low sperm counts or extremely low motility become fathers. ICSI can also help when unknown factors prevent fertilization of the woman's eggs.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is used for couples who have a specific genetic disease they do not want to pass on to their children. A cell is removed from each embryo for testing before an embryo transfer takes place. Any embryos that test positive for the specific disease will not be transferred.
Preimplantation genetic screening
Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) is used for couples who need testing for genetic diseases involving whole chromosomes or large areas of a chromosome. This testing can be appropriate for couples with multiple miscarriages, especially if a known genetic issue has been found involving an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploidy) or a translocation of a piece of one chromosome to another chromosome. The test is used to help avoid transferring embryos that contain an incorrect number of chromosomes.
This option enables a woman to carry a pregnancy even if her own eggs can no longer lead to the delivery of a child. The couple may choose to use an egg donor, either known or anonymous. With this treatment, eggs from the donor are collected during an IVF cycle. The donor eggs are fertilized with sperm from the intended father. Resulting embryos are then transferred into the uterus of the intended mother in an attempt to establish a pregnancy. The Fertility Center staff guides the intended parents through the entire process.
Frozen Embryo Donation
Using "donated" frozen embryos is an option for couples with sperm and/or egg issues. Former IVF patients can have frozen embryos they no longer wish to use once their families are complete. These couples make their embryos available for use by other couples through various sources-matching agencies, storage facilities. Our program does not routinely have embryos available for donation, but we can assist you in finding embryos by providing information about donor embryo sources. Once the couple finds donor embryos they would like to use, the Fertility Center guides the intended parents on shipping of the embryos to Gundersen for storage until the couple is ready to use them.
Surgical Sperm retrieval
Men who do not ejaculate sperm due to blocked or missing tubes in their reproductive system can have sperm retrieved from their reproductive tract. This can include men with vasectomies, failed vasectomy reversals or congenital absence of the vas deferens (CAVD). Some men may have sperm production happening in small areas of the testicles that prevents sperm ejaculation. These areas can be sought out and sperm can be retrieved. The retrieved sperm is brought back to the IVF laboratory and cryopreserved for use in an IVF cycle at a future time.
For some causes of infertility, ART may not be necessary. Other treatments include:
For more information about the services offered through Gundersen Fertility Center or to schedule an appointment, call (608) 775-2306 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 52306.