What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?
Having a child might seem like the easiest thing in the world! And for some couples, having a child is relatively easy but for others it is very difficult and in some cases, impossible! Most specialists suggest consulting with a doctor after a year of trying to conceive without success. And in the case of women over 35, the time is reduced to 6 months before medical consultation is recommended. This is because the chances of conception after 30 years of age diminish quickly.
If you want to have a biological child and find it difficult, ask your doctor and decide what steps you need to follow. And this information, presented as a summary, can serve as a guide to keep you well informed!
Infertility means not being able to reproduce within certain parameters. This is a common issue for approximately 10% of the women between ages 15 to 44. This is due to various illnesses or ovulations problems among other factors. After 35 years of age, approximately 33% of couples have fertility issues; the woman is also more likely to have an involuntary miscarriage and other health problems. But this is not just a woman issue! Infertility in men can be caused by diseases such as a low sperm or no sperm count in some cases.
Infertility, depending on the type and factors involved, can be treated with medications, surgery or treatments such as artificial insemination or assisted reproductive technology.
Artificial insemination or intrauterine (IUD) is a treatment or technique to ease conception and in some cases, infertility. This procedure lies in placing within the uterus of a woman, the previous selected sperm sample of a man.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) refers to all treatments implied in the handling of eggs or embryos outside a woman’s body. These procedures are generally combined with fertility drugs to increase success rates and about 30 percent of ART (or cycles) procedures result in the birth of a baby.
On the other hand, the latest research by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that ART babies are two to four times more likely to have certain types of birth defects, although the reason for these issues is not quite clear. When more than one embryo is placed within the uterus, there is also the possibility of a multiple pregnancy term. However, to date, there are no long-term health effects related to children born by means of these procedures.
The success rate of this technique is around 11% (in females 41-42 years) to 39% (in women under 35). It also depends the woman’s age and other factors such as:
-Reason for the infertility
-Type of technique used
-If the egg is fresh or frozen
-If the embryo is fresh or frozen
Although assisted reproduction technology can be expensive and may take a long time, in many cases, it allows for the conception of a child when all hopes are gone!
There are several different types of treatments:
In Vitro fertilization (IVF): A woman’s eggs are combined with the sperm of the couple in a laboratory. After fertilization, the resulting embryos develop for three to five days before being transferred to the woman’s uterus.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): In this procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into an egg instead of many, like the IVF procedure. After fertilization, the resulting embryos develop for three to five days before being transferred to the uterus of the mother.
Egg Donation or Embryos: In the case of women who cannot conceive with their own eggs, this treatment can be performed with the donated eggs of another woman. The donated eggs are combined with a man’s sperm (which can also be donated), and the resulting embryo is transferred into the uterus. This procedure can also be done with donated embryos.
Subrogation: This method is used in the case of women who do not have eggs of their own or are unhealthy and have gestational issues. In this case, a healthy woman will donate her eggs to be fertilized with the sperm of a man. The resulting child is genetically related to the surrogate mother (who gives up all rights to the child once it is born) and the male partner.
Gestational Carrier: This procedure applies to women with healthy eggs who are unable to gestate in their own uterus. In some cases, these women cannot get pregnant because of health issues. The woman’s egg and the sperm of the male partner are then used and the resulting embryo is implanted into the uterus of a carrier.
Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT): In this procedure, a woman’s eggs are combined with the sperm of their partner in a laboratory. Then these eggs are immediately inserted into the fallopian tubes through a small incision in the abdomen. Fertilization occurs inside the woman’s body and the embryo is implanted in a natural state.
Zygote Intra-Fallopian Transfer (ZIFT): This procedure is similar to the previous one with one difference. The doctor waits for fertilization to occur before transferring the embryos into the fallopian tubes.
I hope this information has been very useful! See you soon!