Fertility treatment

Patients need a referral for fertility testing at the reproductive units. Fertility examinations is recommended after about one year of trying to conceive. If you or your partner suffer from a known condition that will complicate conception, it is advisable to start fertility testing and treatment sooner. The first basic tests are performed at your health centre or in another outpatient facility. After these, you will be referred to a specialist, if necessary.

Male-female couples will have their first appointment together, during which you will be asked questions about your health in general to plan the appropriate tests: a semen sample, a menstrual cycle assessment, and a test to check that the fallopian tubes are open. In the case of female couples or single women hoping to conceive, we will perform a menstrual cycle assessment and a test to check that the fallopian tubes are open, if necessary.

Once the basic tests have been completed and the results are available, the patient or the couple will see a specialist. The doctor will tell them their test results and suggest individual treatment depending on the causes of the infertility. For male-female couples, the cause may be a condition affecting the man, the woman, or both. Sometimes the cause of infertility is not identified. Female couples and single women need donated sperm in order to become pregnant.

Fertility treatment options depend on the causes of infertility and the couple’s wishes. For some couples, adoption or no treatment may be the best option. It is important to eliminate factors that have a negative effect on fertility, such as weight issues and smoking.  

Infertility treatment includes:

  • ​ Ovarian follicle growth stimulation (e.g. letrozole pills and gonadotropin injections) to induce or stimulate ovulation
  •  Surgery when the cause of infertility is endometriosis, myoma or a damaged fallopian tube
  • Insemination, which involves injecting washed sperm cells into the woman’s womb when the egg is released from the ovary
  •  In-vitro fertilisation (IVF), which involves fertilising the egg in a laboratory dish and placing the embryo in the woman's womb
  • Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI); a method used if the sperm count or motility is very low. ICSI involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg with a thin glass needle.
  • Insemination or in-vitro fertilisation with donated reproductive cells if the patient does not have reproductive cells or the cells are abnormal.

In public health care, the upper age limit for women seeking fertility treatment is around 40 years. Women who receive treatment with donated reproductive cells must be under 40 years old when the treatment decision is made. As a rule, treatment options do not include post-sterilisation treatment, or treatment to couples who have already had two children together. According to the Finnish Act on Assisted Fertility Treatments, infertility treatment with donated cells cannot be provided if the couple requires a surrogate, or if it is apparent that the child's balanced development cannot be guaranteed.

Basic infertility tests are carried out at HUS’s Reproductive Medicine Unit, and at Hyvinkää, Lohja and Porvoo Hospitals. HUS's Reproductive Medicine Unit is the central provider of in-vitro fertilisation, treatment with donated reproductive cells, and ovulation induction treatment as well as the planning and provision of more complex fertility treatment.

HUS begins to provide fertility treatments with donor cells in November 2019. We are looking for egg and sperm donors to be able to offer treatments with donated gametes.

Visit the HUS Sperm and Egg Bank’s website: www.sukusolupankki.fi