About Infertility Treatments – Sperm Washing, In Vitro Fertilization, and Fertility Costs


These surprising facts about infertility treatments are from embryologist Stacie Hill. Here, she shares information about sperm washing, the cost of infertility treatments, and in vitro fertilization for women who can’t get pregnant.

First, a quip about sperm from writer Dave Berry:

“It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions,” says Berry. “This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.”

It’s amazing that there’s 20 to 500 million sperm in every milliliter of ejaculate (unless of course the man is struggling with male infertility) — and yet it’s so difficult for so many women to get pregnant! I just don’t get it sometimes. Anyway, to learn about testosterone and testing sperm counts for male infertility, check out the SpermCheck for Fertility.

And read on for info about infertility treatments…

Surprising Facts About Sperm Washing, In Vitro Fertilization, and Fertility Costs

Infertility treatments have low success rates. Most people are aware that infertility treatments can be very expensive, averaging $800 per month for intrauterine inseminations (IUI) and $12,000 per cycle for in vitro fertilization (IVF). What they may not know is the relatively low success rate associated with those fertility treatments. For women in their mid to late thirties, the success rate for in vitro fertilization is between 20-30%.

Cost of infertility treatments. A recent nationwide survey of women trying to conceive showed that 21% of women trying to get pregnant spend more than two years and $10,000 on fertility treatments. Many people think that seeing the fertility doctor will be the final and only answer to their fertility difficulties. It may well be worth their while to consider at-home fertility options before or even after doing in vitro fertilization. For tips on getting pregnant, read Living With Infertility.

Sperm washing loses sperm. Another surprising fact about fertility treatments is that the sperm washing process done in the lab routinely loses a majority of the sperm. If you are bringing in a specimen to the lab to be processed, the sperm cells are purified from the ejaculate before being used and many get discarded. This may not matter if you are having a high tech procedure like ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), where a single sperm is directly injected into each egg. However, if you are doing routine inseminations, you want every available sperm to have the opportunity to swim to the egg. When using a cervical cap you will do just that by keeping the semen in contact with the cervical opening and protected from the acidic vaginal environment.

When facing a medical problem like infertility, it is important to educate yourself! Learn all you can about your body and how it works; ask your fertility specialist questions and read materials from reliable sources. Also, learn about all of the treatment options for fertility. Being proactive about your health will not only help you get pregnant faster, it’ll also give you a greater sense of well being.

To learn more about infertility treatments, read In Vitro Fertilization and Depression – IVF Treatment Effects.



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Stacie Hill recently worked for 13+ years at Michigan Reproductive & IVF Center in Grand Rapids MI, as an embryologist. For more info about current reproductive technology, visit Conceivex.


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