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Fertility Treatment Options

The Journey to Parenthood: Exploring Fertility Treatment Options

The Journey to Parenthood: Exploring Fertility Treatment Options

Fertility issues can be deeply challenging, yet the advancements in medical science offer hope through various treatment options. Understanding these options is crucial for couples facing infertility. In this article, we will explore the range of fertility treatments available today, from the basic to the most advanced.

Basic Treatments

Basic treatments include lifestyle changes and the use of medications. Before considering any medical intervention, couples should explore whether lifestyle changes can have an impact on improving fertility. Sometimes, simple lifestyle changes do enhance fertility. They include maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and managing stress through yoga or meditation. These are medications that can stimulate ovulation in women. For men, medications can help improve sperm count and motility. Your IVF specialist will prescribe the right medication for you depending on your current situation.

Advanced Treatments

Advanced fertility treatments include the following:

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

IUI is also referred to as artificial insemination. It involves placing sperm directly into the uterus to increase the chances of fertilization. IUI is the recommended option in cases such as mild male factor infertility, unexplained infertility, endometriosis-related infertility, and cervical factor infertility or when the donor has to be used. Based on ovulation, the insemination has to be timed. The male partner provides the semen sample and the specimen prepared in the lab is loaded into a small catheter and is into the uterus via the vagina.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is by fast the most effective and common fertility treatments. It involves fertilizing an egg with sperm in a laboratory and then implanting the embryo into the uterus. IVF can be used for various infertility issues, including blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, or unexplained infertility. IVF is the best option for people who find that fertility challenges are preventing them from achieving parenthood. The different stages of the IVF process are:

  • Suppression of a woman’s natural cycle using medication
  • Using medication for ovarian stimulation and enabling the production of more than one egg
  • Monitoring egg maturation through ultrasound scans
  • Collection of eggs from the ovaries
  • Fertilization of eggs by mixing them with sperm
  • Placing 1 or 2 embryos into a woman’s womb

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

ICSI is often used in conjunction with IVF. In ICSI, a single sperm is directly injected into an egg to enable fertilization. In the assisted reproduction realm, ICSI is the most powerful tool. It follows a targeted approach and enhances the chances of successful conception. It offers hope to couples with fertility challenges, particularly to those experiencing male infertility problems such as the inability to ejaculate, blocked reproductive system, low sperm count, poor sperm quality or motility, and retrograde ejaculation.

Donor Eggs or Sperm

In cases where one partner is unable to produce viable eggs or sperm, donor eggs or sperm can be used for fertilization.

A woman may have to depend on donor eggs if:

  • She is not producing eggs of her own
  • Her eggs are not likely to be fertilized
  • The risk of passing on inherited diseases is high
  • She is single
  • She is in a same-sex relationship

Donor eggs are fertilized using the IVF technique to create embryos for implantation in her uterus.

Candidates who have to use a sperm donor are:

  • Single individuals
  • Couples (both heterosexual couples and same-sex female couples)
  • Male partners in heterosexual relationships struggling with infertility
  • Two male partners having infertility issues


In surrogacy, another woman carries and delivers a baby for the envisioned parents. This option is considered when a woman is unable to carry a pregnancy to term.

Emerging Technologies

Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)

PGT involves testing embryos for genetic disorders before implantation. This can help prevent the passing of certain genetic conditions to the offspring. One of the common reasons for failed pregnancy after an embryo transfer is abnormal embryo genetics. PGT ensures that the selected embryo has the correct chromosome count. This reduces the chances the IVF cycle failure and miscarriage. Good candidates for PGT include women over 37 years, couples who are likely to transfer an inherited genetic disease, and those with a history of recurrent miscarriages.

Ovarian Rejuvenation

This experimental procedure aims to stimulate dormant follicles in the ovaries, potentially improving ovarian function and egg quality. Some fertility doctors may offer ovarian rejuvenation as a fertility treatment. It involves giving platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to improve fertility, specifically the quality of the egg. If you have experienced an IVF cycle failure or poor egg or embryo quality, ovarian rejuvenation could improve your chances of success in the next IVF cycle.

Exploring fertility treatment options can be overwhelming, but with the guidance of a fertility specialist, couples can find the right path forward. Each couple’s journey is unique, and it’s important to consider factors such as age, health status, and personal preferences when choosing a treatment. By staying informed and seeking support, couples can navigate the challenges of infertility with hope and resilience.

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