By Leslie Schreiber
With the advancement of reproductive technologies and evolving social mores regarding parenthood, women today are readily becoming pregnant on their own. While the process is, in general, not cheap, the options are plentiful.
You should first consult with your physician and OB-GYN to make sure that you are healthy enough to have children. Pregnancy can be physically taxing, even for the fittest among us.
Once you have made the decision to forge ahead, you have to decide how you want to handle sperm donation. Do you want to ask someone you already know to provide the sperm or do you want an anonymous donor? There are benefits to both, although using a “known donor” carries with it certain legal issues that will have to be addressed prior to insemination, such as legal claims to the child. Anonymous donors usually sign an agreement with the sperm bank, waiving any rights they may have regarding the child.
IUI or IVF?
The next step is to decide which fertility treatment you want to use. Intrauterine insemination (“IUI”) is the direct insertion of motile sperm into the uterus during ovulation. In vitro fertilization (“IVF”) processes the egg and sperm outside the uterus, fertilizing the egg in a laboratory. The fertilized egg is then transferred back to the uterus. In general, IVF, which can take several cycles, tends to have a greater success rate than IUI, but it is more expensive, so that should be taken into consideration, along with the fertility and age of the intended mother.
Treating Infertility Holistically
Western medicine has embraced traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the treatment of physical ailments, including infertility. Acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow to the ovaries, which is necessary for follicle stimulation and for maintenance of a healthy intrauterine lining. Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce stress, which, if nothing else, can be beneficial to help ease a patient’s anxiety.
Research on the impact of acupuncture on fertility has generated mixed results. You should check your health insurance plan to see if acupuncture is covered; otherwise, the out-of-expenses can add up, since the recommended treatment is weekly over the span of several months.
 “Anonymous sperm donation is done through a sperm bank. Almost every state allows this practice because the contract is between you and the sperm bank. Since the contract is not with the mother, your anonymity and waiver of rights/obligations can be upheld.” “Does a Known Sperm Donor Have Any Parental Rights or Obligations?”, available at https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/sperm-donor-parental-rightsobligations.html (last visited Jan. 3, 2018).
 “Back to Basics: The Difference Between IUI vs. IVF”, available at http://uscfertility.org/back-basics-difference-iui-ivf/ (last visited Jan. 3, 2018).
 See http://www.asrm.org/topics/topics-index/in-vitro-fertilization-ivf/ (last visited Jan. 3, 2018).
 See “Alternative Therapies or Complementary Medicine,” available at http://www.asrm.org/topics/topics-index/alternative-therapies-or-complementary-medicine/ (last visited Jan. 3, 2018).