Creating a family is a wonderful experience, but the process of reproduction can be difficult for some. Thankfully, if you are experiencing infertility issues, there are multiple options available to increase your chances of conception. Modern technology has come a long way and made the entire process far easier and hassle-free than ever before. The secret is assisted reproductive technology (ART), and it’s revolutionizing the way individuals and couples are having children.
A Brief Overview of Infertility
Infertility is more common than you may realize, so if you are struggling to conceive, it’s perfectly natural and normal. According to the CDC, about 19 percent of women ages 15-49 may not get pregnant after trying for a year. Additionally, about a quarter of the population (26 percent) may have problems with carrying a pregnancy to term.
There are various factors at play, such as:
- Partner Infertility
- Lifestyle Factors (i.e., smoking or obesity)
While conceiving naturally is always recommended, it’s not always possible or feasible. That’s where assisted reproductive technology comes into play. At Viera Fertility Clinic, our goal is to help you realize your dreams, and we make sure to take care of you every step of the way.
What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is when a fertility clinic uses high-tech equipment and instruments to aid with the reproductive process. Thankfully, technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, so fertility clinicians can do a lot more to help individuals and couples who want to conceive. There are four primary types of ART procedures, so let’s break them down one by one.
In-Vitro Fertilization-Embryo Transfer (IVF-ET)
IVF is the most common form of ART, and it has a high success rate. While the process used to be far less successful, in modern times, individuals can expect about a 50-percent success rate when the patient is under 35. While that may sound low at first, it’s an incredible achievement for fertility. For comparison, the success rate used to be in the single digits, so there’s a far greater chance of getting pregnant with this method.
The way it works is like this:
- First, we inject fertility drugs into the body to induce ovulation. This step is crucial because it allows the body to produce multiple eggs during a single cycle instead of just one.
- Once the eggs are released, we retrieve them from the vagina. This process is fast and painless and often just takes a few minutes. We also collect a sperm sample from the partner (or donor).
- Both eggs and sperm are combined in a controlled setting, and then they are evaluated after a few days to determine which embryo is the most viable.
- Once we’ve selected an embryo, we insert it gently into the uterus, where it will be most likely to attach to the uterine wall. After about 12 days, we can test to verify whether the embryo took hold.
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)
This process is similar to IVF in that eggs and sperm are collected and mixed to help create an embryo. However, the egg is then inserted into the fallopian tube rather than in the lab. So, before we can start the process, we have to do an X-ray to determine that there is at least one healthy fallopian tube for insertion.
This option is usually reserved for couples who have tried IVF with no success.
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
ZIFT is very similar to GIFT, but we verify that the egg has been fertilized by the sperm to create a zygote before inserting it into the fallopian tube. This way, there’s a higher chance of success. However, the process does take a bit longer since we have to wait for zygotes to appear before we can reinsert them.
Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
During IVF, you will release multiple eggs, all of which will be mixed with sperm to induce fertilization. Fortunately, all of these embryos can be frozen for reuse later on. This way, if the first round of IVF doesn’t work, we can use a frozen embryo and try again. This method still has a high success rate, and you don’t need to release more eggs each time.
Let Our Melbourne, FL, Fertility Clinic Help Your Family
If you’re experiencing infertility, let us help! Our fertility clinic in Melbourne is designed to help you choose the right ART procedure for you and your partner. We’ll work with you and help you every step of the way. Contact us today to find out more and to begin your journey toward a happy and healthy family!