Have you been trying to conceive for a while? Are you thinking maybe red wine and a romantic evening aren’t doing it? Since it’s going to be 2018 and a whole new year, it might be a good time to consider exploring different family building options. Here are the most common ways to add to your family:

  • Timed Intercourse: This is the process of having “well-timed” intercourse around the time of ovulation. This is usually within one or two days of a positive ovulation prediction test (you can buy one at any local drugstore), or a spike in temperature if you are charting your basal body temperature (BBT).
  • Medicated Timed Intercourse: Your cycle is typically monitored via ultrasound at a fertility clinic, and might involve the use of fertility drugs. Once you are nearing ovulation, your doctor will give you the go ahead to have sex.
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This is when a catheter is used to insert sperm into a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating. IUI is often done in conjunction with fertility medication (so that the woman produces more eggs than typical), and can be performed using the partner’s sperm or donor sperm.
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): When IVF is performed, a woman’s eggs are retrieved and combined with her partner or donor’s sperm. After fertilization, any resulting embryos will either be transferred to the woman’s uterus or frozen for later use.
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): This is when a single sperm is injected directly into your egg, rather than placing many sperm next to the egg, as in IVF.
  • Donor Eggs or Embryos: If a woman is unable to conceive using her own eggs or if you’re a same sex male couple, you can have IVF treatment using donor eggs. The donor egg is combined with donor or your partner’s sperm, and the resulting embryo is transferred to the intended mother or gestational surrogate’s uterus.
  • Surrogacy (Gestational Carrier): Another woman who is not genetically related to the baby carries the embryo or donor embryo to term, and gives birth to your baby.
  • Adoption: Adoption is possible through three different ways – Domestic, International or through Foster Care. This is when you voluntarily take a child as your own.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember to take it step by step. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommends you consider seeing a fertility doctor if the female partner is under the age of 35, and has been trying to conceive for at least one year; or if the female partner is over 35 and you have been trying to conceive for at least six months without success.

This is because, much like the ball on New Year’s Eve, when you’re a woman, your fertility drops the older you get.

If you fall within those guidelines or if you know for certain you may have cause for concern, make an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist to get a check-up and explore all of your options together! We have over 90 experts on MedAnswers available to answer your questions!