There are a number of successful fertility treatments used to encourage conception, including:
The woman is given medication (tablets or injections) which help develop egg cells and initiate ovulation.
The semen is processed to filter out motile, healthy sperm. These are then introduced directly into the womb at the time of ovulation, using a fine catheter.
In vitro fertilisation (IVF)
With this form of treatment, fertilisation takes place outside of the womb. The egg and sperm cells are brought together in a test tube. Once fertilisation has occurred, the cells are returned to the womb using a thin catheter (embryo transfer).
Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
ICSI is a further development of IVF. In cases where the man has severely impaired fertility, a single sperm is inserted directly into the egg cell.
Freezing of fertilised egg cells (cryo-conservation)
This allows fertilised eggs to be frozen and stored for up to 5 years.
Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA)
MESA involved retrieving sperm from the epididymis.
Testicular sperm extraction (TESE)
In the case of TESE, a tissue sample is taken from the testicles. Either method can be combined with ICSI.