Overview: Treatment for infertility

treatment methods depend on the cause of infertility. Your doctor will certainly advise you on a slightly invasive method first. Novel high-tech treatments such as test tube fertilization are considered a last resort, mainly because of the high cost and complexity of such a procedure. However, drug treatment and surgical procedures are very effective. Couples who are now happy parents were treated with fertility drugs only or one of them had a minor surgery.

Treatment depends on many factors, such as: For example,

  • the age of the woman
  • of the sperm condition
  • the period in which the couple is already suffering from infertility
  • if the woman already had a pregnancy.

Treatments from mild to most severe are:

  • Infertility Drugs

    When a woman's hormone balance is out of balance or disturbed (in some cases even in men), special medications replicate the reproductive system on course.

  • Fertilization of the Oocyte by Catheter

    In some cases the short path of the sperm to the egg is the solution. A high dose of sperm placed by your partner in your uterus or fallopian tubes may promote fertilization. This ""assisted reproduction"" can also help couples in whom the male semen can not pass the woman's cervical mucus. This type of fertilization (homologous insemination, in contrast to heterologous insemination, here comes the seed from the strange man) is a precursor to artificial insemination. You can work completely without medication, with lighter and also with very effective hormones. For ovulation, the sperm is entered into the uterus via a catheter, shortening the path between the egg and the semen. A sperm donor is possible.

  • Surgical Procedures

    Clogged fallopian tubes, endometriosis, fibroids and ovarian cysts - associated with fertility problems - are often treated surgically.

  • Supportive Pregnancy Treatments

    Fertility drugs and other conventional treatments are combined with high-tech methods such as: Eg collection of oocytes, treatment of low sperm count, problems with the fallopian tubes or problems with ovulation. These procedures include artificial fertilization, transfer of the germ cell into the fallopian tube, transfer of the fertilized ovum to the fallopian tube, cytoplasmic sperm injection, and use of donor oocytes or sperm.

  • By contrast, the use of a surrogate mother in Germany, Austria and Switzerland is prohibited.

What are my chances of getting pregnant through the treatment?

Success depends largely on your age and the cause of your infertility - younger women are more likely to become pregnant than women over 40. Assuming you are in good health, you may have reduced alcohol and caffeine intake, improved your diet and smoking given up, then you probably have the best chances of getting pregnant. (The diet of the future father is just as important.)

Do not forget your emotional stress! Find a conversational friend, self-help group or expert before you start treating infertility, but also during treatment. Researchers found a close link between depression and infertility. A recent study shows that women who openly talk about their depression are twice as fertile as those who keep their feelings to themselves. Many clinics offer a psychological counseling service, and support groups can introduce you to other members who can assist you and share the experience of infertility.

Do we have to pay for the treatment in Germany?

In Germany, according to a guideline of the Federal Committee of Doctors and Health Insurance Companies on medical measures for artificial insemination, some restrictions apply if you want to artificially induce a pregnancy and have it paid by the health insurance.

Artificial insemination services can only be used by married couples. Only egg and sperm cells of the spouse may be used. After pregnancy, there is again a claim to pregnancy through artificial insemination.

The husband's cash register arrives at the measures necessary in connection with the spouse's investigation. The medical measures should, as far as possible, be provided on an outpatient basis.

Requirements for an artificial insemination are: Both partners are HIV-negative, in the woman there is a sufficient protection against a rubella infection. Both have previously been advised by a doctor who does not perform the measures themselves about the medical, mental and social aspects of artificial insemination.

However, the measures of artificial insemination may only be carried out if it is reasonably certain that the chosen method will be successful. IVF should not be given to women over 40 years and men over 50 years of age. The health insurances pay only about 50 percent of the costs, in one cycle IVF / ICSI (fertilization in the test tube) that is about 5000 euros, that is approx.5000 euros must be raised by the couple themselves. As a rule, today a maximum of three attempts are approved.

Which services private health insurance undertakes in artificial insemination depends on the type and scope of the insurance contract. However, it is usually the case that the costs are borne if there is a 15 percent chance of getting pregnant - even if the woman is over 40 years old.

What do you have to pay for yourself in Switzerland?

Switzerland is very restrictive here. Basically the following applies: The costs for the diagnostic clarification are taken over by the health insurance. If the doctor orders an insemination (IUI), according to the regulation on benefits in compulsory health insurance both the medication and a maximum of three attempts are paid by the health insurance companies. In contrast, inseminations with sperm from donors are not paid.

The cost of treatment for artificial insemination by in vitro fertilization or ICSI is not covered by the health insurances in Switzerland.

If you are considering an IVF, it is advisable to request a detailed breakdown of the costs at the earliest informative interview with your gynecologist. In vitro fertilization costs here in Switzerland between 3500 to 10,000 francs per cycle. If ICSI is added, the costs are even higher. It usually takes at least three cycles to get pregnant. An in vitro fertilization can therefore cost the couple up to 30,000 francs at worst. Overall, however, it can be said that the costs involved are very dependent on the duration and necessary hormonal stimulation and also vary from one treatment center to another.

If you want to freeze excess oocytes (for example, for another IVF cycle), they will in any case have to bear the cost of this so-called cryopreservation themselves. The cost is about 500 to 1000 francs.

What costs do you have to bear in Austria yourself?

Since the year 2000, the costs of artificial insemination are reimbursed under certain conditions. The IVF Fund for the financing of in vitro fertilization is set up in the Federal Ministry of Health and Women and covers 70% of the treatment costs. Claim is for couples in cohabitation or marriage, where the woman is under 40 years and the man under 50 years old. In at least one part, sterility must be diagnosed as follows: In the woman, the cause of infertility must be due to missing, blocked or unfunctional fallopian tubes; the man must be seriously infertile. Four attempts per couple per desired pregnancy are supported. IVF or ICSI are funded, not insemination. The costs are about 2. 600, - € per experiment including medicines.(Source: Women's Counselor of the Federal Ministry of Health and Women)

Which services private health insurance undertakes in the case of artificial insemination depends on the type and scope of the respective insurance contract.

My doctor mentioned success rates for various treatments. What does that mean and can I trust them?

If you're being treated for infertility, you'll get statistics on everything from the odds of having a twin pregnancy to the likelihood of extrauterine pregnancy.

Your doctor will provide you with figures on the different treatment models, which you can then compare to the overall average success rates. Get the latest information on artificial insemination and sperm donation from the University of Heidelberg. For example, the birth rate after artificial insemination is about 17 percent.

Do not rate a medical fertilization practice solely on its statistics. Maybe the doctor has specialized in treating older women, and the birth rate is naturally lower. If a practice has a lot of experience with your specific problem, it should be your first choice. Another fact that needs to be considered is how long the practice has been proven.

Your doctor may suggest that you continue after three treatments, whichever is done. Some experts believe that treatment will not work if it did not work the third time around. Keep in mind, however, that the case of each couple is different - six attempts with artificial insemination are not uncommon.

We wish you good luck!

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