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Different Types of Assisted Reproductive Technology

There are many different reasons that couples may experience difficulty conceiving a child, which may be related to fertility issues with the woman, the man, or both. There are different types of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that may help couples overcome problems that are causing an inability to conceive.  

ART refers to medical procedures that can be done to manipulate eggs, sperm, or embryos to improve the chances of attaining a successful pregnancy. The team at The Center for Reproductive Health is committed to helping couples find the best solution to infertility challenges with the help of ART.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is probably the most well-known form of ART. This procedure involves harvesting eggs from the mother and fertilizing them with sperm in a lab where they’re allowed to grow for a few days into embryos. The embryos are then implanted in the mother’s uterus. The sperm may be from the woman’s partner or a sperm donor.

Before eggs are harvested, injectable hormones are given to stimulate the growth of multiple eggs, which is usually done for 7 to 9 days.  A relatively new form of ART known as Mini IVF is done by using a gentler approach to ovarian stimulation in order to produce a few high-quality embryos rather than multiple embryos.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination or IUI is also known as artificial insemination. The procedure is done by injecting sperm into the uterus around the time of ovulation. Before the sperm is injected, it’s processed and washed to enhance sperm quality. In some cases, the ovaries may be stimulated with hormones before the sperm is injected.

IUI bypasses thick cervical mucous that may prevent sperm from traveling to the uterus. This procedure may also be used if sperm aren’t very active or are low in count, and or when the cause of infertility is unknown.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

This procedure is done by injecting a single sperm into the center of an egg. It can be combined with IVF when sperm count or quality is very low and may be recommended if prior attempts at IVF have failed. This may be an effective form of ART if the fertility issues are sperm related.

In traditional IVF, thousands of sperm are placed in the same dish as a single egg to attain fertilization naturally. When there are significant sperm abnormalities, injecting a single sperm into an egg greatly increases the chance of attaining a successful pregnancy. 

Frozen Embryo Transfer

During IVF, not all of the embryos are used and some may be frozen for future use. In frozen embryo transfer, frozen embryos are thawed and implanted into the woman’s uterus. Eggs, sperm, or embryos may also be from a donor.

The fertility experts at The Center for Reproductive Health specialize in diagnosing and treating infertility challenges. If you’re considering ART, schedule an appointment for a comprehensive examination and evaluation to find out the best fertility treatment options for you. Call today with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment.