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ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY 

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY (ART)

Definition & Terminology

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) - an entire class of medical interventions where technology is used to assist in human reproduction. It refers to all treatments that involve handling eggs/sperm or embryos outside the body, and this includes IVF as well as a few of its variations. These procedures are usually paired with fertility drugs to increase success rates.

 

No long-term health effects have been linked to children born using ART procedures, and for many people with fertility problems, ART is the best chance of having a child.

 

What are common assisted reproductive technology techniques?

Here's a list of the main ART techniques popular today:

 

In vitro fertilization (IVF): About 99 percent of ART procedures done in the US are IVF treatments. Eggs, from either the intended mother, or a donor, are combined with sperm in a laboratory. After fertilization, the resulting embryos develop for three to five days before being transferred to your uterus.

 

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): Approximately two-thirds of all IVF cycles done in the US use ICSI as the fertilization method. In this procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg, rather than placing many sperm next to the egg, as in IVF. After fertilization, the resulting embryos develop for three to five days before being transferred to your uterus.

 

Donor egg or embryo: If you're unable to conceive with your own eggs, you can have IVF treatment using eggs donated by another woman. The donor egg is combined with sperm, and the resulting embryo is transferred to your uterus. This procedure can also be done with donated embryo/donated sperm.

 

Gestational carrier: Another woman carries an embryo to term and gives birth to your baby.

What about other fertility treatments, like GIFT or ZIFT?

 

Unless there's no other alternative, your doctor will probably steer clear of other ART procedures because they require an additional surgical procedure – though each has a success rate similar to IVF.

 

Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT): In this procedure, eggs are combined with sperm in a lab, then immediately inserted into your fallopian tubes through a small incision in your abdomen. Fertilization happens inside your body, and the embryo implants naturally.

 

Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT): In ZIFT, eggs are mixed with sperm in a lab (as with GIFT). But in this procedure, your doctor waits until fertilization occurs before transferring the embryos to your fallopian tubes through a small incision in your abdomen.

 

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