Assisted Reproductive Technology 101
For many couples, achieving a successful pregnancy begins with finding a compassionate infertility team offering access to advanced medical technology and specialized treatment plans. With a shared goal of growing a family, board certified reproductive professionals at Viera Fertility Clinic work closely with each individual, or couple, to identify solutions for resolving infertility.
Our staff and experienced physicians understand this journey is often complex and overwhelming. Patient-physician communication is imperative during these challenging times. Believing that well-informed patients make better health decisions, we compiled this short recap of fertility terms for your review before discussing treatment options with your doctor.
Eight Assisted Reproductive Treatments & Technology
1. Artificial Insemination (AI)
Also referred to as intrauterine insemination, AI is typically used before IFV or ICSI when there is no clear reason pregnancy has not occurred naturally. Previously collected semen is transferred to the uterus via the cervix immediately before anticipated ovulation. This technique may be recommended because a male partner suffers from erectile dysfunction or plans to undergo cancer treatment and wants to store semen for future use.
2. Ovulation Induction (OI)
Prescribed for women who have irregular ovulation patterns, including failure to ovulate, this treatment utilizes medication, such as Clomid® or Repronex®, to encourage follicle-stimulating hormone production. When the follicle reaches maturity, another hormone, such as Pregnyl® or Novarel®, may be administered to stimulate egg release if the body does not release its own luteinizing hormone (LH). Intercourse is timed to maximize pregnancy achievement.
3. Donor Conception
Donor conception protocol varies depending on infertility obstacles. When males do not produce sperm or the sperm is low quality, donor sperm may be used to support pregnancy via artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization. Likewise, donor eggs are sometimes used when a woman either does not produce viable eggs or she is concerned about passing along the genetic disease to her baby.
Some couples who have achieved pregnancy through IFV choose to have extra embryos frozen and donated to infertile couples facing similar challenges.
Surrogacy involves one woman carrying a baby for another woman or couple. Surrogacy may be achieved through natural conception or using assisted reproductive technology.
5. In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Women who do not have intact fallopian tubes, or who’s tubes are blocked often turn to IVF as a pregnancy solution. The process may involve natural ovulation and egg release or using medication that stimulates egg production, harvesting the eggs, and fertilizing the mature eggs in a laboratory dish with healthy sperm. When embryos develop, they are transferred to the uterus using a catheter.
6. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Similar to IVF procedures, ICSI is used specifically to address sperm deficiencies or male sterility. Fertilization is achieved by directly injecting a single, healthy sperm into each mature egg harvested.
7. Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer
GIFT is an option for women who have clear tubes and prefer a protocol that closely resembles natural concept. The woman’s eggs are harvested and sperm is collected. The eggs and sperm are transferred together into one or both of the fallopian tubes where natural conception is encouraged. Although not as common today as it once was, GIFT provides another option for overcoming fertility obstacles.
8. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis( PGD)
Used in conjunction with IVF and ICSI, PGD allows individuals and couples to screen embryos for genetic defects before transfer to the uterus. These test may reveal genetic anomalies or indicate reasons a woman has experienced multiple miscarriages and failure to cleave during previous IFV procedures. Selective reduction to eliminate male or female embryos during this time may be used as a means to avoid risks associated with sex-specific genetic conditions.
Explore Viera Fertility Clinic Solutions: Leading Edge Technology & Compassionate Board-Certified Specialists Working With You to Achieve a Successful Pregnancy
Fertility treatment need not be confusing or overwhelming. Many patients who come to our clinic for testing and diagnosis become pregnant with AI. For others, we always recommend the most appropriate, least invasive assisted reproductive technology based on an individual’s medical history and tests results. Contact our office today to schedule a private consultation.