Treating Infertility: Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
If you and your partner are struggling with conception, you may be interested in trying some procedures to help increase your chances of pregnancy. A large percentage of couples face difficulties when it comes to getting pregnant, but many have found success with Assisted Reproductive Technology. ART involves a number of different procedures to help address fertility problems and increase the likelihood of pregnancy. Be sure to speak with your reproductive endocrinologist about ART procedures that may be right for you.
What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?
ART refers to a number of different procedures that can be used to overcome both male and female fertility problems. ART is specifically defined as any procedure that invovles manipulating both the egg and the sperm. This means that any treatment that involves removing, mixing, and replacing the sperm and egg is a form of ART.
ART is now commonly used throughout North America and Europe. Introduced in 1983 with the first IVF (invitro fertilization) birth, ART procedures now account for over 30,000 live births every year. This is approximately 1% of the total number of live births in the United States.
Who Can Benefit from Assisted Reproductive Technology?
ART procedures aren't designed to help everyone conceive. Because they are emotionally and physically draining, they are often used only when other, simpler treatments have failed. ART procedures can benefit both male factor and female factor infertility. In particular, it is often used when couples are facing:
- tubal factor infertility
- ovulation problems
- ejaculatory dysfunction
- unexplained infertility
Who Shouldn't Pursue Assisted Reproductive Therapy?
Those who choose to participate in ART procedures need to meet specific criteria. In particular, women must have:
- a normal uterus
- at least one accessible ovary
- no signs of premature menopause
Types of Assisted Reproductive Therapies
There are numerous types of ART procedures. Your reproductive endocrinologist can help to determine which procedure is best suited to you.
IVF is one of the more commonly performed ART procedures. It involves the extraction of multiple eggs from a your ovaries. These eggs are then fertilized using a sample of sperm from your partner that has been washed and prepared. Once the eggs have been fertilized they are implanted in to your uterus.