Infertility Treatments: Guide to Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

When a couple is failing to conceive, a fertility specialist or infertility clinic can offer a number of treatments that work to manipulate the sperm and eggs. Among the latest developments in the field of infertility is a set of procedures known as Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). ART fertility treatments include the surgical removal of eggs from the ovaries and artificial insemination, and promise a number of benefits for women who are have experienced ongoing infertility due to certain health problems. Here’s a close look at the success rates and procedures available for couples who are dealing with infertility problems:

About Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

In vitro fertilization (IVF) was one of the first assisted reproductive technology procedures available in the United States, but there are now several different techniques and variations of IVF available to treat infertility. Some of the most common ART procedures available include:
  • Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT) – eggs are mixed with sperm in a dish and then surgically placed in the fallopian tubes. This procedure is available at very few fertility clinics around the United States and has a lower success rate than IVF.
  • Tubal embryo transfer (TET)
  • Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) – eggs are combined with sperm in a dish then surgically injected into the fallopian tubes using a fiber-thin tube. This is a very rare procedure but still offers better results than traditional IVF treatments.
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – sperm is placed inside the egg using a microscopic needle and once fertilization occurs, the embryo is placed in the uterus
  • Laser hatching
  • Donor egg embryo –a donor egg is mixed with the male’s sperm and the embryo is implanted into the uterus.
Laser micromanipulation is among the most advanced techniques available for addressing infertility problems, and is only available at select fertility clinics and infertility centers around the country. Surrogacy, otherwise known as a gestational carrier, is another option for couples who cannot get pregnant. In this treatment, another woman carries the embryo or a donor embryo to term and provides the couple with the baby after birth.

Good Candidates for Assisted Reproductive Technology Procedures

Many couples deal with infertility because of low sperm counts, endometriosis and because of birth defects in the uterus. Assisted Reproductive Technologies are suitable for couples who are experiencing the following problems:
  • Endometriosis
  • Infertility from the aging process
  • Low motility
  • Abnormalities in the shape of the sperm
  • Decline in egg quality
  • Unbalanced hormone levels
  • Nonfuntional fallopian tubes
While there are no guarantees that Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) will result in a pregnancy, many couples dealing with infertility can benefit from the procedure. In most cases, a set of ART cycles may be needed to achieve pregnancy. Couples begin the treatment process with a set of fertility drugs that help to stimulate ovulation.
Learn more about IVF treatments in our information guide, or consult with an infertility specialist in your area to find out if you are a good candidate for a Assisted Reproductive Technologies and other fertility treatments.