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Overview: Various fertility treatments

1 min read
Cycle Care

coCreated by

Dorenda van Dijken - Gynecologist
Are you still not pregnant after a year of sex without birth control? There are many possible causes as to why, but you can definitely have it examined! Depending on the results, you may be eligible for fertility treatments. Here is an overview:

Hormone treatment to stimulate ovulation

If check-ups show that there is no - or an irregular - ovulation, a hormone treatment can stimulate the process. Usually, you take pills containing the substance clomiphene. This substance imitates the effect of the female hormone estrogen. There are also hormones which can stimulate ovulation through an injection or a small pump.  

Fallopian tube surgery

Sometimes pelvic adhesions can develop on the fallopian tubes or they are closed completely. Closed off fallopian tubes are an indication for IVF. Sometimes, the fallopian tubes are removed to improve the success with IVF. 

IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)

Insemination may be a solution when you don’t know why you can’t conceive.  After all, the biggest ‘trick’ is the timing and you can determine very precisely when ovulation occurs. Insemination is also used when the sperm is of lesser quality. With this procedure, the sperm cells are filtered and treated with antibiotics, after which the best ‘swimmers’ are directly put in the uterus using a small tube. 

IVF (In vitro fertilization)

Children born through IVF are also called “test-tube babies”. In a laboratory, the egg and the sperm cell are placed together so that the sperm cell can fertilize the egg on its own. The fertilized egg is then transferred back into the uterus. The chance of pregnancy, in healthy couples with unexplained infertility, is not greater than with IUI. 

ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) 

ICSI is similar to IVF. The major difference is that in ICSI, the sperm is injected directly into the egg. The doctor then places the egg back into the uterus. ICSI can be a solution if the sperm is of low quality. 

Egg donors

If you aren’t able to produce eggs on your own, another option is to use the egg of another woman. This egg is fertilized in a laboratory and then transferred back into the womb of the intended mother.  


The fertility treatments we discussed in this article are either fully or partially covered in the basic health insurance package. However, there are conditions attached and they are not mild. For example, IVF allows three treatments maximum and you can be no older than 43, Egg donation is only partially covered and only on very strict indications. So, it’s best to check with your health insurance company before you start any form of treatment!

Perhaps there’s no need to mention this, but here’s a frequent reason for infertility nonetheless: smoking. If you want to get pregnant and you’re a smoker, it’s for the best if you quit. This applies to both men and women!


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