What are the different types of fertility treatments?

A fertility treatment typically refers to medications that stimulate egg growth (also known as oocyte growth or development) or sperm production, or procedures that involve the handling of eggs, sperm, or embryos. It can also include surgical interventions, lifestyle changes, weight loss, or treatment of any underlying medical conditions. Below are four treatment options that are available, and how they work.

Fertility Drugs

Fertility drugs are used to help release hormones that induce ovulation to boost egg production. This option is used as a female infertility treatment for women with irregular menses  that can result from various causes, making it harder to predict ovulation, recognizing signs of fertility, and planning timed intercourse.

Ovulation Induction (OI)

Ovulation problems, such as irregular ovulation, are a common cause of infertility for women. Ovulation induction uses fertility medications to stimulate the release of one or more eggs from the ovary. Depending on the fertility issue, ovulation induction may be used in conjunction with intrauterine insemination (IUI) to achieve pregnancy.

Artificial insemination can benefit couples with a range of needs. It is important to note that at least one of the fallopian tubes must be patent (unblocked) for this treatment to be effective. There are a few risks when undergoing artificial insemination, such as multiple pregnancies when the treatment is combined with fertility medication, which in turn increases the chances of complications, such as premature birth or miscarriage[1].

Intra-Uterine Insemination

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a relatively painless and non-invasive procedure that involves placing the sperm directly into a woman’s uterus around the time of ovulation. Once semen is collected from the spouse, it is washed and purified in a lab to separate the seminal fluids from the sperm cells. The sperm is then deposited directly into the uterus using a catheter to bypass the cervix so as to reduce the distance for the sperm to reach the egg[2].


IUI is usually recommended for men who have slow-moving sperm, lower-quality sperm, or a low sperm count. It can also help women who have produced antibodies to their partners’ sperm or whose cervical mucus inhibits the transportation of the sperm to the egg[3].

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a multi-step process that stimulates ovulation so that mature eggs can be collected from the woman. Those eggs are then   in a lab through a process known as Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Once the fertilized embryos are ready, it is then implanted into the uterus in the hope of forming a pregnancy[4].

IVF is a primary infertility treatment for those with certain health conditions such as blocked or severely damaged fallopian tubes, or if   tissue formed by endometriosis, infection or surgery has narrowed the tube. It might also be used if the man has “lower than normal” sperm quality. Couples with unexplained infertility may also turn to IVF[5].


These are only some of the treatment options available. Remember, before starting your fertility journey, it’s important to understand and listen to your body. If you are looking for more information regarding your fertility questions or concerns, consult your personal care provider, or start with our fertility questionnaire. 


[1]Paddock, M. (2018, September 27). What to know about artificial insemination. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/217986

[2] Intrauterine insemination (IUI) – Mayo Clinic. (2021, September 3). https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/intrauterine-insemination/about/pac-20384722

[3] Ibid.

[4] In vitro fertilization (IVF) – Mayo Clinic. (2021, September 10). https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/in-vitro-fertilization/about/pac-20384716

[5] Ibid.


SG-NONF-00252 | January 4, 2023

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