Fertility drugs are the mainstay of assisted conception. When drugs are unsuccessful, more invasive and expensive measures are taken. However, these are generally considered a last resort.
The options for assisted conception are varied. There are a number of different approaches utilising one or both partner’s genetic material. Intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF), Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) all utilise at least one partner’s genetic material, but provide some assistance in fertilisation.
In the IUI method your partner’s sperm will be injected directly into your uterus while you are ovulating.
When you undergo IVF, your eggs and your partner’s sperm are mixed together in a petri dish before being reinserted into your body as fertilized embryos.
The GIFT technique is similar to IVF except that the sperm and your eggs are reinserted without being fertilized first. Fertilisation occurs in your own body.
ICSI is similar to IVF except only one of your eggs is used in the process.
There is also assisted conception using donated sperm or donated eggs or embryos. And, of course, you could hire a surrogate.