When a couple are ready to start a family, they need to think about the best way for them to conceive. For most couples, this is an easy choice - if they have no fertility problems and are in good health, then they just need to have sex. Even though it could take a long time to get pregnant this way - in some cases, it can take a couple at least a year to conceive the natural way - it is still the most common way for people to conceive. Unfortunately, though, this doesn’t work for everyone. If you suffer from fertility problems or are in your late thirties or older, then you might need to think about an alternative method.

To help you understand what your options are when it comes to conceiving, here are some of the most common methods.

Sexual Intercourse
As I’ve already mentioned, sexual intercourse is one of the most common methods of conception and has the highest success rate. The majority of couples will be able to use this method, though if one individual suffers from some fertility issues, then this might be problematic. It can take a while to conceive this way, even for a couple who are young and don’t have any fertility problems. Because it can take a while, it is advised that a couple tries this method for at least a year before reaching out to the doctor for medical advice or a referral to a fertility clinic.

The Turkey Baster Method
There are some reasons why regular sexual intercourse won’t work for couples, even those who don’t have fertility issues. There is one method that they might want to try before turning to a fertility clinic, and that is the turkey baster method. This is also a method that is widely used with same-sex couples trying to conceive. The sperm, which can come from either a partner or donor, is put into a turkey baster or a syringe. This is then manually use by the woman to implant the sperm into the uterus. This can be slightly uncomfortable for the woman, but the method’s success rate is just as high as with natural sexual intercourse. However, there are some issues with this method that some couples might want to be wary of. For instance, many women prefer to apply a lubrication to the baster so that they can insert it more comfortably. If you choose to do this, then you need to make sure that you are using a sperm-safe lubricant so that the cells don’t die.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
If sexual intercourse doesn’t seem to work, and you don’t fancy going down the turkey basting route, then it could be wise to call MCRM now and find out about intrauterine insemination (IUI). This option is suitable for both straight and same-sex couples as sperm from a donor or partner can be used. In this method, the clinic will place the sperm directly into the uterus so that the sperm is pretty much guaranteed to match up with the egg. Even though you will need to go into a clinic to take part in this, it is still very comfortable and you will experience minimal pain and benefit from a short recovery period. This method can be slightly expensive, though, as a cycle can cost anywhere between $300 - $600. Thankfully, some health insurance providers will cover this treatment, so you might want to check with yours to see if they will foot the bill for you.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
The three methods mentioned above are the first port of call for most couples. However, if none of them work, then they will need to fall back onto in vitro fertilization. For most couples, this is a last-ditch attempt to get pregnant. To take part in this, you will need to head to your nearest fertility clinic. More often than not, your regular doctor will need to refer you for this kind of treatment. As part of the IVF treatment, you will need to take a course of medication to get the body ready to ovulate. Some of these will bring about mild side effects, such as fatigue and nausea. Once eggs have been produced, they will be taken out of the body and mixed with the sperm. Once they have combined to produce an embryo, they will then be implanted back into the uterus. For many women, this is a completely painless procedure, but there are some who complain about cramps. Unfortunately, most insurance providers do not cover IVF treatment, so you should expect to pay the whole bill for each cycle yourself. This can end up being quite pricey as most cycles cost anywhere between $13,000 and $19,000.


IVF isn’t always successful, and some couples will spend thousands of dollars going through countless cycles with no luck. But that doesn’t mean that the couples have to give up their dream of having children - there is one more option. When it comes to surrogacy, another woman carries the baby for nine months. In some cases, the couples egg and sperm will be mixed together in a test tube and then implanted into the surrogate mother’s uterus. Alternatively, the surrogate uses her egg. This is often the case when same-sex couples choose to have a baby through surrogacy. If the couples’ sperm and egg are used and then implanted into the surrogate’s uterus, then the surrogate will not be genetically related to the baby. It’s just that their uterus is being rented out so that the baby has an hospitable environment in which to grow and develop.

The five methods of conception mentioned above are the five most common. Thankfully, if regular sexual intercourse doesn’t seem to help you get pregnant, there are other methods and processes that you will be able to fall back on. Before you decide on an alternative to sexual intercourse, it’s always best to speak to your doctor about your issues so that you can come up with the best possible solution to your own unique problem.