Infertility

Next Advances In Fertility Treatments?

What does the future hold for fertility treatments?

Fertility experts continue to amaze us with dramatic improvements in treatments and technologies. With research and development moving so quickly, advancements that were thought to be pure fiction a generation ago are now well-established medical doctrine. Scientists continue to study the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility with the hopes of helping most anyone who wants to conceive a healthy baby realize their dreams.

Fewer twins and triplets
One key area you’re likely to see in the near future is the reduction in rates of multiple pregnancies. As doctors get better and better at in vitro fertilization, more are picking just one embryo to transplant, rather than two, three or more.

More donors and surrogates
You’re also likely to see more couples consider third-party reproduction (using someone else’s eggs and/or sperm and a surrogate to carry it all), which doctors say is an excellent option for women who aren’t able to maintain a successful pregnancy.

Selecting baby’s looks
In a stroke of Brave New World science, you can also expect to see more extensive tests of embryos. In the past couple of years, doctors have developed methods of testing for all of an embryo’s chromosomes simply by removing a few of its cells. It’s likely we’ll start to see more parents choose not only gender but also eye and hair color.

The end of infertility
We may even see stem cell research taking us to a new place where normal eggs and sperm can be created from skin cells or other cells in the body, essentially eliminating the idea of infertility altogether. But that, for better or worse, is still a ways off.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Should you consider IUI?

How Much Fertility Treatments Cost

Fertility Treatment Basics

By Samuel Wood, MD, reproductive endocrinologist and medical director, The Reproductive Sciences Center, San Diego