If you’re old enough, you may recall the uproar over “test-tube babies” in 1978, when the first kid was conceived outside of a woman’s body. In vitro fertilization (IVF), the original experimental process is today simply one of several fertility therapies accessible.
Since then, IVF has been joined by a slew of other techniques that have come to be known as assisted reproductive technology (ART). Fertility treatment success rates have risen as new procedures have been discovered. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ART was used to conceive slightly more than 1% of all babies born in the United States in 2007, totaling 57,569 births. This is more than twice as many as the 20,840 babies born in 1996.
The success rates for these procedures vary, but in 2007, U.S. fertility clinics reported that 34% of all non-donor egg or embryo treatment cycles resulted in live births. Naturally, success rates will differ based on the parents’ age and other circumstances. The following is a list of the different procedures that fall under the ART umbrella:
IVF (in vitro fertilization)
IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is the granddaddy of all other operations. It refers to fertilization that occurs outside of the womb. You will take hormones and other medications in advance of the surgery to ensure that you generate many eggs each month rather than just one. Your doctor will use ultrasound to detect the eggs, then retrieve them with a hollow needle and combine them with your partner’s sperm, which will be supplied the same day. Because the retrieval procedure can be painful, it is common to use light sedation or anesthetic during it.
The fertilized eggs, now known as embryos, are kept in the refrigerator for several days while your doctor monitors their development. The embryos are then implanted into your uterus, one or several at a time. The amount of embryos transferred is determined by your age and circumstances. In an effort to limit the frequency of higher-order multiple pregnancies, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine modified its guidelines on the number of embryos that should be transferred in 2008. Their new guidelines suggest that women under the age of 35 should have no more than two children and women over the age of 40 should have no more than five.
Injection of sperm into the cytoplasm (ICSI)
This method was created to assist males who have a low sperm count or sperm motility issues. In a laboratory, one sperm is directly put into an egg. Following fertilization, one or more of the resultant embryos are implanted into your uterus, much like in traditional IVF.
Intrafallopian gamete transfer (GIFT)
This treatment, which is similar to IVF, encourages fertilization in your fallopian tubes rather than in a laboratory. The sperm and eggs are transferred into the tubes using laparoscopy, a type of surgery in which a surgeon works with a light-bearing laparoscope and other devices through a small incision in the abdomen wall. Because the eggs are not fertilized outside the body, some couples choose GIFT for religious reasons, although the technique has become extremely rare, accounting for only about.1% of all ART procedures.
Intrafallopian zygote transfer (ZIFT)
ZIFT is identical to GIFT, except that the eggs and sperm are joined in the lab before being placed into the fallopian tubes as “zygote” embryos (hence the name). Due to the growing success rates of IVF, which eliminates the necessity for laparoscopy, this treatment, which also involves laparoscopy, is rarely performed.
An embryo or donor egg
You can use eggs donated by another woman if you are unable or unlikely to conceive with your own eggs. The disadvantage is that the child will not be genetically connected to you; nevertheless, utilizing donated eggs might considerably boost your chances of becoming pregnant. (In 2007, the average live-birth rate for fresh embryo egg donation was 55 percent.) After combining the donated eggs with your partner’s sperm, the embryo is put in your uterus. In 2007, donor egg procedures accounted for around 12% of all ART cycles. Donated sperm and eggs can also be used in this way. Some couples also use frozen embryos donated by couples that have extras from their infertility treatments. Frozen embryos have a lower success rate (32%) than fresh embryos.
If your body is incapable of sustaining a pregnancy, you may choose to have your embryo carried to term by another woman. She is referred to as your surrogate if the same person who contributed the eggs also carries the baby. The woman who bears the kid is known as a gestational carrier if you utilize your own eggs or embryo.
Surrogacy is one of the most expensive forms of assisted reproductive technology. Assisted reproductive technologies, such as a gestational carrier using your stored embryos, can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Before you decide how far you’d go to have a baby, check with your insurance company to see how much of the expense of these treatments are covered.
http://www.resolve.org RESOLVE, http://www.resolve.org
http://www.asrm.org/ is the website of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
The American Pregnancy Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of http://www.americanpregnancy.org
http://www.theafa.org/ is the website of the American Fertility Association.
http://www.socrei.org/ is the website of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility.