What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?

by | Jan 1, 2021 | Fertility

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology? 

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a set of medical procedures used to help people who struggle with infertility to achieve pregnancy. It refers to any method that involves the manipulation of eggs, sperm or embryos outside of the human body, with the goal of creating a pregnancy. ART has revolutionized the field of infertility treatment and has helped countless individuals and couples around the world to start families.

ART is a complex medical process that involves multiple steps and requires specialized equipment, training, and expertise. The most commonly used ART techniques include:

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): In this procedure, eggs are removed from the ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory dish. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the uterus to establish a pregnancy.
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): This technique involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg to facilitate fertilization.
  • Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT): This method involves transferring eggs and sperm into the fallopian tube, where fertilization takes place naturally.
  • Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT): This technique involves transferring fertilized eggs (zygotes) into the fallopian tube to achieve pregnancy.

Other less common ART techniques include Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), in which genetic testing is performed on embryos before they are implanted in the uterus, and cryopreservation, which involves freezing and storing eggs, sperm, or embryos for later use.

ART can be used to treat a wide range of fertility issues, including ovulation disorders, male factor infertility, tubal factor infertility, and unexplained infertility. It can also be used to help individuals and couples who have genetic disorders that could be passed on to their children, or those who are at risk of transmitting a serious illness.

While ART can be highly effective, it is also expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally challenging. Success rates vary depending on a number of factors, including the age of the woman, the underlying cause of infertility, and the specific ART technique used. In general, the success rate of ART is higher for younger women, and for those who use donor eggs or sperm.

ART raises a number of ethical, legal, and social issues. For example, some people question whether it is morally acceptable to create embryos in a laboratory and discard those that are not used. Others worry about the potential health risks to women and children who undergo ART procedures. In many countries, there are laws and regulations governing the use of ART, including restrictions on who can access it, how it can be used, and how long embryos can be stored.

In conclusion, Assisted Reproductive Technology has transformed the field of infertility treatment, providing hope and new possibilities for individuals and couples who want to start a family. It is a complex and constantly evolving field that raises important ethical, legal, and social issues. As research and technology continue to advance, ART will likely play an increasingly important role in the lives of many people around the world.

 

What Causes Infertility in Males and Females?

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse. It affects both men and women, and can be caused by a variety of factors. In this article, we will explore some of the most common causes of infertility in males and females.

 

Causes of Infertility in Males:

  1. Low Sperm Count and Poor Sperm Quality

One of the most common causes of male infertility is a low sperm count or poor sperm quality. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Medical conditions such as varicocele, infections, or hormonal imbalances
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use
  • Exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides, lead, or radiation
  1. Erectile Dysfunction and Ejaculation Disorders

Erectile dysfunction and ejaculation disorders can also contribute to male infertility. These can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or neurological disorders
  • Side effects of medications
  • Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, or depression

 

Causes of Infertility in Females:

  1. Ovulation Disorders

Ovulation disorders are a common cause of female infertility. These can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Hormonal imbalances such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Premature ovarian failure
  1. Age-related decline in fertility

Fallopian Tube Blockage

Blockage or damage to the fallopian tubes can prevent fertilization and implantation from occurring. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Endometriosis
  • Previous surgeries or ectopic pregnancies
  1. Uterine Abnormalities

Abnormalities in the uterus can also contribute to female infertility. These can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Fibroids or polyps
  • Adhesions or scarring
  • Congenital abnormalities

Other Factors of Infertility:

Other factors that can contribute to female infertility include:

  • Age-related decline in fertility
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use
  • Exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides, lead, or radiation

Infertility can be caused by a variety of factors in both males and females. It is important to understand the underlying causes of infertility in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Some causes of infertility can be addressed through lifestyle changes, while others may require medical interventions such as fertility treatments or surgeries. It is also important to seek help from a qualified healthcare professional if you are struggling with infertility, as they can provide guidance and support throughout the process.

 

Types of Assisted Reproductive Technology:

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a collection of medical procedures that help individuals and couples overcome infertility and conceive a child. These procedures range from simple techniques like intrauterine insemination (IUI) to complex procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF). In this article, we will explore some of the most common types of ART.

 

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI):

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a simple and commonly used ART technique. It involves the direct injection of washed and prepared sperm into a woman’s uterus during her ovulation cycle. The goal of IUI is to increase the chances of fertilization by placing the sperm closer to the egg. IUI is often recommended for couples with unexplained infertility or mild male factor infertility.

 

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex ART procedure that involves the fertilization of an egg outside the body, in a laboratory dish. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the woman’s uterus. IVF is typically used when other fertility treatments have failed or when a woman has blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. It can also be used in cases where the male partner has severe sperm abnormalities.

 

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI):

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a variation of IVF that involves the direct injection of a single sperm into an egg. ICSI is often used when there are severe sperm abnormalities or when previous attempts at IVF have failed.

 

Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT):

Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) is an ART procedure that involves the collection of eggs and sperm, which are then mixed together and placed directly into a woman’s fallopian tubes. The fertilization then takes place inside the fallopian tubes, allowing for a more natural conception. GIFT is less commonly used today because of the availability of other more successful ART procedures.

 

Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT):

Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) is another variation of IVF. It involves the fertilization of an egg outside the body, in a laboratory dish, and then transferring the resulting zygote (fertilized egg) into a woman’s fallopian tube. ZIFT is less commonly used today because of the availability of other more successful ART procedures.

 

Donor Egg or Sperm:

Donor egg or sperm can be used in cases where the female or male partner is unable to produce viable eggs or sperm. Donor eggs or sperm are obtained from a third party and are used in conjunction with IVF or IUI. The use of donor eggs or sperm is a highly successful ART procedure, with success rates similar to those of traditional IVF.

 

Surrogacy:

Surrogacy is an ART procedure that involves the use of a surrogate mother to carry and deliver a baby for another couple or individual. Surrogacy is often used in cases where the female partner is unable to carry a pregnancy to term. Surrogacy can be done using the surrogate mother’s own eggs and the male partner’s sperm, or through the use of donor eggs and sperm.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has revolutionized the field of infertility treatment, providing a range of options for individuals and couples struggling to conceive. From simple techniques like intrauterine insemination (IUI) to more complex procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF), ART procedures offer hope for those struggling with infertility. It is important to work with a qualified healthcare professional to determine which ART procedure is right for you.

 

Benefits of Assisted Reproductive Technology:

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has become an increasingly common solution for couples and individuals struggling with infertility. ART involves a range of medical procedures designed to help individuals conceive a child. In this article, we will explore some of the benefits of ART.

  • Overcoming Infertility: The most significant benefit of ART is its ability to overcome infertility. Many couples and individuals who have struggled with infertility for years have been able to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy to term thanks to ART procedures. ART has helped those with a range of fertility issues including low sperm count, blocked fallopian tubes, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and unexplained infertility.
  • Increased Control: ART procedures give individuals greater control over their fertility. For example, IVF allows for the selection of embryos with the best chance of successful implantation, reducing the risk of miscarriage or multiple pregnancies. IUI allows for the timing of insemination during the ovulation cycle, increasing the chances of successful fertilization.
  • Access to Genetic Information: ART procedures like pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) can provide access to important genetic information about embryos. This information can be used to identify embryos with genetic abnormalities, reducing the risk of genetic disorders in offspring.
  • LGBTQ+ Family Building: ART has provided LGBTQ+ couples and individuals with the opportunity to build families that were previously not possible. Same-sex couples can use ART procedures like IVF and IUI with donor sperm or eggs to conceive a child. In addition, surrogacy is an option for same-sex male couples who wish to have a biological child.
  • Preservation of Fertility: ART procedures like egg and sperm freezing allow individuals to preserve their fertility for future use. This is particularly important for those undergoing medical treatments like chemotherapy, which can damage fertility. Egg and sperm freezing can also be used by individuals who are not yet ready to start a family but want to preserve their fertility as they age.
  • Family Balancing: ART procedures can also be used for family balancing. Couples who already have children of one gender can use ART procedures like IVF with sex selection to conceive a child of the opposite gender, allowing for greater family balance and diversity. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) offers a range of benefits for individuals and couples struggling with infertility. ART procedures allow for greater control over fertility, access to genetic information, preservation of fertility, family building for LGBTQ+ couples, and family balancing. It is important to work with a qualified healthcare professional to determine if ART is the right option for you.

Risks of Assisted Reproductive Technology:

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a popular method used by couples and individuals who struggle with infertility. While ART has provided many successful pregnancies and birth outcomes, there are also some risks associated with ART procedures. In this article, we will explore some of the potential risks of ART.

  • Multiple Pregnancy: One of the most significant risks associated with ART is the increased likelihood of multiple pregnancies. ART procedures like in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) can lead to the development of multiple embryos, which can increase the risk of multiple pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies can pose health risks to both the mother and the fetus, including premature birth, low birth weight, and complications during delivery.
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): Another potential risk associated with ART is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). OHSS is a condition that can occur when the ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple eggs for ART procedures. The ovaries become swollen and painful, and in severe cases, can lead to hospitalization. Symptoms of OHSS include abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy: An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, typically in the fallopian tube. The risk of ectopic pregnancy is higher in women who undergo ART procedures, as the procedures can interfere with the normal movement of the fertilized egg through the fallopian tubes.
  • Birth Defects: While ART has a high success rate, there is still a risk of birth defects in children born through ART. The risk of birth defects may be slightly higher in children conceived through ART procedures like IVF compared to natural conception.
  • Emotional and Financial Stress: The emotional and financial stress associated with ART procedures can also be a risk factor. ART can be a lengthy and expensive process, and the emotional toll of multiple unsuccessful attempts at conceiving a child can be significant. It is important for individuals and couples to carefully consider the emotional and financial impact of ART before beginning the process.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has revolutionized the field of infertility treatment, providing hope for couples and individuals who struggle with fertility issues. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with ART procedures. The most significant risks include multiple pregnancies, OHSS, ectopic pregnancy, and birth defects. In addition, the emotional and financial stress of ART can also be a risk factor. It is important for individuals and couples to work closely with a qualified healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for their individual needs and circumstances.

 

Success rate of Assisted Reproductive Technology:

The success rate of ART is often defined as the percentage of cycles that result in a live birth. The success rates of ART differ based on multiple factors such as the age of the patient, the cause of infertility, and the type of ART used. The data on the success rates of ART varies based on the country, the clinic, and the methodology used to collect the data.

 

Success Rate of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) in India:

IVF is one of the most commonly used ART treatments in India, and its success rate has improved significantly in recent years. The average success rate of IVF in India is around 40-50% for women under 35 years old. The success rates decline with increasing age, and for women over 40 years old, the success rate drops to around 10-15%. However, with the use of advanced techniques such as Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and blastocyst culture, the success rates have improved for older women as well.

 

Success Rate of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) in India:

ICSI is a type of ART that is used in cases of male factor infertility. It involves injecting a single sperm directly into the egg for fertilization. The success rate of ICSI in India is around 30-40%. The success rates of ICSI are lower than IVF, as it is used in more complicated cases of infertility.

 

Success Rate of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) in India

IUI is a type of ART where washed and prepared sperm are placed directly into the uterus during ovulation. The success rate of IUI in India is around 10-20%. IUI is a less invasive and less expensive treatment option, but its success rates are lower than IVF and ICSI.

 

Factors Affecting Success Rates of ART in India:

Several factors can affect the success rates of ART in India, including:

  • Age: The success rates of ART decline with increasing age, especially for women over 40 years old.
  • Cause of infertility: The success rates of ART depend on the underlying cause of infertility. If the infertility is due to female factors such as blocked fallopian tubes, the success rates are lower than if the infertility is due to male factors such as low sperm count.
  • Quality of embryos: The success rates of ART depend on the quality of embryos used for transfer. The use of advanced techniques such as PGD and blastocyst culture can improve the quality of embryos and hence the success rates.
  • Experience of the clinic: The success rates of ART also depend on the experience of the clinic and the expertise of the ART team.

ART has become a popular and effective treatment option for couples experiencing infertility in India. The success rates of ART in India have improved significantly in recent years, with IVF being the most commonly used ART treatment. However, the success rates of ART depend on several factors, including the age of the patient, the cause of infertility, and the type of ART used. Couples should consult with their doctor to determine the best treatment option for their individual case.

 

Cost of Assisted Reproductive Technology in India:

The cost of ART in India is generally much lower than in many other countries, making it a popular destination for medical tourism. The cost of ART in India can vary depending on the type of treatment required, as well as the clinic and location.

Types of ART and Their Costs:

The cost of ART in India can vary greatly depending on the type of treatment required. Here are some of the most common types of ART treatments and their associated costs in India:

 

Cost of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI):

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a relatively simple and affordable ART treatment. It involves the placement of washed sperm directly into the uterus during the woman’s fertile period. The cost of IUI in India can range from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 15,000 per cycle, depending on the clinic and location.

 

Cost of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a more complex and expensive ART treatment. It involves the retrieval of eggs from the woman’s ovaries, fertilization in a laboratory, and the transfer of embryos back into the uterus. The cost of IVF in India can range from Rs. 90,000 to Rs. 2,50,000 per cycle, depending on the clinic and location. Additional costs may also apply, such as medication, blood tests, and ultrasounds.

 

Cost of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI):

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a variation of IVF that is often used when there are issues with sperm quality or quantity. It involves the injection of a single sperm directly into the egg. The cost of ICSI in India can range from Rs. 1,20,000 to Rs. 2,50,000 per cycle, depending on the clinic and location.

 

Cost of Donor Egg IVF:

Donor Egg IVF involves the use of donor eggs from a woman who is not the intended mother. This treatment is often recommended for women who have a low ovarian reserve or other fertility issues. The cost of Donor Egg IVF in India can range from Rs. 1,50,000 to Rs. 3,50,000 per cycle, depending on the clinic and location.

 

Cost of Surrogacy:

Surrogacy is an option for couples where the woman cannot carry a pregnancy to term. It involves the use of a surrogate mother who carries the pregnancy on behalf of the intended parents. The cost of surrogacy in India can range from Rs. 10,00,000 to Rs. 15,00,000, depending on the clinic and location.

 

Additional Cost of Assisted Reproductive Technology:

In addition to the cost of the ART treatment, there are several additional costs that individuals or couples need to consider, such as:

  • Medications: The cost of fertility medications can range from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1,50,000 per cycle, depending on the type and amount required.
  • Diagnostic tests: Blood tests, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic tests can add to the overall cost of ART.
  • Counselling: Counselling is often recommended before and during the ART process to help individuals and couples cope with ART Procedure.
  • Clinic and Location: The cost of assisted reproductive technology can vary significantly from one clinic to another, and from one location to another. Clinics in major metropolitan areas are generally more expensive than those in smaller cities or rural areas.
  • Type of Assisted Reproductive Technology: As mentioned earlier, the cost of different types of assisted reproductive technology can vary significantly. The cost of IVF with surrogacy, for example, is much higher than the cost of traditional IVF.
  • Age of the Woman: Women over the age of 35 may require more extensive treatment than younger women, which can increase the cost of assisted reproductive technology.
  • Number of Cycles: Some couples may require multiple cycles of assisted reproductive technology to achieve a successful pregnancy. Each cycle can add significant costs.
  • Additional Services: Some clinics may offer additional services, such as genetic testing or counselling, which can add to the overall cost of assisted reproductive technology.

 

Conclusion:

Assisted reproductive technology can be a costly but effective option for couples struggling with infertility. The cost of assisted reproductive technology in India varies based on several factors, including the type of treatment, the clinic and location, the age of the woman, and the number of cycles required. While the cost may be high, many couples find that the benefits of achieving a successful pregnancy are well worth the investment. It is important for couples to research their options, compare costs, and choose a reputable clinic with a high success rate to maximize their chances of success.

 

 

FAQ:

Q: What are the 4 types of reproductive technology?

A: The four types of reproductive technology are in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT).

Q: What are assisted reproductive technologies give example?

A: Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are medical procedures that aid in achieving pregnancy. Examples of ART include in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and frozen embryo transfer (FET).

Q: What is the difference between ART and IVF?

A: ART (assisted reproductive technology) is a broader term that includes all fertility treatments that involve handling eggs and sperm. IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a specific type of ART that involves fertilizing an egg with sperm in a laboratory and then transferring the resulting embryo(s) to the uterus.

Q: What are the 3 main steps of IVF?

A: The three main steps of IVF (in vitro fertilization) are ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer. Ovarian stimulation involves taking medication to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Egg retrieval is a minor surgical procedure in which the eggs are removed from the ovaries. Embryo transfer is the final step in which the fertilized egg is transferred to the uterus.

Q: What are the benefits of assisted reproductive technology?

A: The benefits of assisted reproductive technology (ART) include increasing the chances of conceiving a child, overcoming fertility issues or conditions, and enabling individuals or couples to have a biological child. ART can also offer options for same-sex couples and those with genetic disorders to conceive.

Q: What are assisted pregnancy methods?

A: Assisted pregnancy methods are medical procedures that help women conceive or maintain a pregnancy. Examples include IVF (in vitro fertilization), IUI (intrauterine insemination), and surrogacy.

Q: What are the two types of assisted reproductive technology?

A: The two types of assisted reproductive technology (ART) are in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Q: What is the most commonly used assisted reproductive technology?

A: The most commonly used assisted reproductive technology (ART) is in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Q: What age is IVF most successful?

A: IVF success rates decline as a woman ages, with the highest success rates typically occurring in women under the age of 35. However, success rates can vary based on individual factors such as the cause of infertility and overall health.

Q: What is IVF painful?

A: IVF (in vitro fertilization) may involve some discomfort or mild pain during the egg retrieval procedure or after embryo transfer. However, pain management techniques such as anesthesia or pain medication can help alleviate discomfort.

Q: How successful is IVF at 25 years old?

A: IVF success rates can vary based on individual factors such as the cause of infertility and overall health. However, women under the age of 35 typically have higher success rates, with some studies reporting success rates of around 50-60% for women under 30 undergoing IVF.

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    Dr Mona Dahiya

    Dr Mona Dahiya

    IVF Specialist & Consultant

    Dr Mona Dahiya has performed over 5,000+ IVF cycles and is considered a global expert in IVF, ICSI, IUI and male fertility treatment. She is an eminent writer on Infertility Treatment and has over 100 Publications in both International and National Journals. Dr Mona Dahiya has immensely contributed to the field of infertility through her Research and articles.

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