We live in a day when our options for building a family are so much greater than ever before. I believe that doctors and professionals have been inspired to develop procedures and medications to assist couples seeking a family. I also believe that the process of adoption has been fine tuned in such a way that families choosing to adopt can do so efficiently…I just wish the process were faster.
This page is devoted to sharing the options available to couples. Now, I am giving you general information and please know that in doing so, I am not necessarily agreeing with or condoning each of them. Additionally, I am not implying Church support or endorsement for any of them. As you read through the information below and go to other resources for more information, I strongly recommend that, as a couple, you counsel with each other and consider seeking guidance from sincere prayer and maybe even from your bishop. You will be guided to do what is right and best for you as a couple.
Once you read through the information below and you know what options are available for family building, you might want to indicate in a notebook which options you would be willing to consider. Which ones are of no interest to you right now? Set aside a time to discuss your feelings with your spouse. Determine together which treatment options you would like to discuss with your physician. Or, if you choose to consider adoption, start by looking at itsaboutlove.org.
- Optimizing Fertility. Weight, health, and lifestyle can all affect your fertility; therefore, it is crucial that you are taking care of your body through diet, exercise, and healthy sleeping patterns. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to optimize your fertility through changes in your lifestyle, visit Optimizing Fertility at resolve.org. Additionally, studying the Word of Wisdom found in Doctrine & Covenants 89 will also be helpful in choosing a diet that would be beneficial to your health.
- Childfree Living. Some couples spend years exhausting medical procedures they never thought they’d have to consider and they are still unsuccessful at bringing children into their family. Other couples look at the options available to them as they seek a life with children and do not feel that any of the family building options are right for them. While friends around them choose one path, they decide to go on to live their lives without children. Although it might not seem ideal and the desire for children will always be present, couples find it possible to be at peace being just the two of them. There are wonderful and rewarding experiences that can be part of childfree living as couples find joy in each other, friends, and extended family relationships.
- Eastern Medicine. Eastern medicine involves methods unrelated to drugs or procedures. Treatments might include acupuncture, herbal formulas, dietary and massage therapy, as well as practices that are meditative and energy-enlivening which can help restore balance and health to every aspect of your body. They also can be used to redirect your body’s attention and energy back to the reproductive system so that you may do what you were meant to: bring forth life. (Source: thefertilesoul.com)
- Surgery. There are several female structural problems that can be treated with surgery: Endometriosis, Tubal Factor, DES, Fibroids, Asherman’s Syndrome and Sdenomyosis. Once you are diagnosed with a specific infertility condition, speak with your physician to see if surgery would be an option for you. Male factor problems are generally due to structural abnormalities and can be treated by surgery. These are abnormalities of the reproductive tract that consist mainly of obstructions that partially or totally block the flow of sperm and/or seminal fluid. Some of these abnormalities may be present at birth (congenital), others may have occurred after infection or previous surgery. (Source: www.resolve.org)
- Adoption. Adoption is another family building option. People decide to adopt for many reasons, but infertility is one of the most common motivating factors. In one study, more than 80% of those adopting independently or through a private agency responded that the inability to have a biological child was the reason they chose to adopt. It is estimated that 11% to 24% of couples who experience difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term pursue adoption. (Source: resolve.org)
An adoptive mother wrote: I believe that adoption is a gift from God. It is a tool that He uses to help His children. For many birth mothers, because they place their babies, it is one of the most spiritual times of their lives. For couples who have not been able to have children it becomes the greatest gift they could ever receive. Our son’s birth mother is an incredible woman. She made a lot of sacrifices in our behalf and we feel grateful that she chose adoption for her baby. We will feel forever indebted to her for giving us such a precious son.
The adoption of our son has been a sacred and spiritual experience for our family. Waiting and wondering when our birth mother would find us in many ways was as hard as the many times we wondered if we were pregnant and as emotionally taxing as infertility treatments and procedures.
The moment we were able to hold our son, he felt like ours. There was no doubt in our mind that Heavenly Father used adoption as a way for us to add another son to our family. The love we have for our adopted son is no different or less than our love for our biological son.
I LOVE the LDS Church’s adoption website. I love the information they have available and I love browsing the profiles. I am amazed at what they offer birth mothers and adoptive families. Pay it a visit: itsaboutlove.org.
- Intrauterine Insemination. Intrauterine Insemination, also known as IUI or artificial insemination, is a procedure used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal male factor infertility, and women with cervical mucus problems. Sperm are “washed” or separated, which means that motile sperm is selected from the man’s ejaculate and concentrates them into a small volume. Sperm washing cleanses the sperm of potentially toxic chemicals which may cause adverse reactions in the uterus. The doctor uses a soft catheter that is passed through a speculum directly into the woman’s uterus to deposit the semen at the time of ovulation. (Source: resolve.org)
- Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) involve several types of medical treatments designed to result in pregnancy. Types of ART include in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), embryo cryopreservation, egg or embryo donation, and gestational carriers. In vitro fertilization is a highly sophisticated, meticulously timed procedure, which involves removing a ripened egg or eggs from the female’s ovary, fertilizing it with semen, incubating the dividing cells in a laboratory dish and then replacing the developing embryo in the uterus at the appropriate time. (Source: resolve.org)
- Fertility Medications. It is good to understand what medications are used for various procedures related infertility. Some of these medications are used exclusively to help boost fertility, others are used to facilitate the procedures listed above. It is very interesting to know what each type of medication does and what it is used for… (Source: resolve.org)
Aspirin & Heparin. Aspirin is used alone or with Heparin to reduce the risk of recurrent spontaneous pregnancy loss. Heparin is used on its own or in conjunction with Aspirin to prevent recurrent pregnancy loss due to elevated levels of antiphospholipid antibodies.
Clomiphene Citrate. If your basic infertility work-up indicates that you are not ovulating regularly or if you are ovulating very late or early in the cycle, your physician may suggest clomiphene citrate. In women, clomiphene is used to induce ovulation, to correct irregular ovulation, to help increase egg production, and to correct luteal phase deficiency. In men, clomiphene is used to increase sperm count, or improve quality or motility. Two types are Clomid and Serophene.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). These drugs are used for the treatment of ovulation disorders and to stimulate follicle and egg production for intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), or other assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures. Some types are Gonal F, Bravelle, and Follistim.
Human Menopasual Gonaditropin (hMG). hMG is used to stimulate the development of follicles in women who do not ovulate regularly and to stimulate ovulation for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures. Repronex is a type of hMG.
Human chorionic gonadotopin (hCG). hCG is a hormone produced by the human placenta and is used for two reasons: first, hCG mimics LH, resulting in the release of matured eggs after controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH), with FSH or hMG, for example. Second, after ovulation has occurred, either naturally or in conjunction with IUI, IVF or ART, hCG may be used to support the corpus luteum and to enhance the quality of the uterine lining and the potential for implantation of the embryos.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH agonist). GnRH agonists are synthetic drugs that cause the release of FSH and LH initially, but with continued use, they suppress FSH and LH, thereby, creating a clean slate on which to create a controlled ovarian hyperstimulation cycle for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures. GnRH agonists are used to prevent premature release of eggs in IVF or gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and to treat endometriosis or to shrink fibroids. Two types are Lupron and Synarel.
Bromocriptine & Cabergoline. In both men and women, hyperprolactinemia (overproduction of the hormone prolactin) can cause fertility problems by interfering with the normal production of FSH and LH. Bromocriptine and cabergoline correct abnormal prolactin levels.
Progesterone. Progesterone is a natural hormone which is given after ovulation to improve the quality of the uterine lining. It can be taken by mouth, by vaginal suppository, gel or by intramuscular injection.