If nothing else seems to be working, women can resort to assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization. In vitro fertilization is the most effective weapon in this particular arsenal. Mature eggs are harvested from the female and fertilized by the male's sperm in a petri palace of love. Then the eggs are popped into the uterus where, hopefully, they'll start growing.
This is another instance where multiple pregnancies are a real possibility, but there are steps that can be taken in the event of multiple fetuses. Couples can opt for what's known as a multifetal pregnancy reduction and remove some of the fetuses, making the chances of survival better for the remaining babies.
Other potential complications that can accompany fertility treatment include bleeding, infection, birth defects, premature delivery, low birth weight, and something intriguingly known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Despite its bizarre-sounding name, there's nothing amusing about OHSS: In most cases, a woman's ovaries become painfully enlarged. In rare cases, fluid builds up in the abdomen which can cause swelling, rapid weight gain, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, decreased blood levels, low blood pressure and a trip to the hospital.
On the next page, you'll find links to lots more great information, including the answer to that burning question that's likely been keeping you up at night: "If a woman has two wombs, can she get pregnant in both?" Well, read on, and you'll be sleeping like a baby.
- Fact or Fiction: Pregnancy
- How In Vitro Fertilization Works
- How Sperm Banks Work
- How Surrogacy Works
- Will the baby be a girl or a boy?
- How does the baby eat and breathe in the uterus?
- Can acupuncture and hypnosis treat infertility?
- Can vasectomies actually be reversed?
- Can I feel pregnant when my wife is?
- If a woman has two wombs, can she get pregnant in both?
More Great Links
- "Common Pregnancy Myths." KidsHealth.org. October 2007. (4/9/2010) http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_newborn/pregnancy/myths_tales.html#
- Humphries, Courtney. "Does what you eat affect your fertility?" Boston Globe. April 12, 2010. (4/9/2010) http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2010/04/12/does_what_you_eat_affect_your_fertility/
- "Infertility." Mayo Clinic. June 27, 2009. (4/9/2010) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infertility/DS00310
- "Infertility and Reproduction Guide." Web MD. (4/9/2010) http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/default.htm
- "Infertility: Frequently Asked Questions." Womenshealth.gov. July 1, 2009. (4/9/2010) http://www.womenshealth.gov/FAQ/pregnancy-tests.cfm
- The American Fertility Association Web site. (4/9/2010) http://www.theafa.org/
- The American Pregnancy Association Web site. (4/9/2010) http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility/
- The National Infertility Association Web site. (4/9/2010) http://www.resolve.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage
HowStuffWorks looks at whether women dealing with fertility issues are more likely to conceive naturally after they adopt or get pregnant with IVF.