Are you considering assisted reproductive technology to help with your fertilization and/or conception? It may be quite confusing looking at all the different types of treatments available for it. After all, there isn’t just one type of treatment you can avail, but different procedures with different processes that benefit specific cases.
But what exactly are these types of ART offered and which one should you choose for you and your partner? I did the research to help you out, so read on! I’ll be showing you the types of assisted reproductive technologies for fertility treatment to know more of what suits you best.
Types Are Types of Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is an umbrella term that describes various treatments performed to help conceive. Fortunately, with advanced technology, there are now different fertility treatments that help couples begin a family. Here are the five various treatments you should consider before making your final decision:
Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI)
IUI is actually one of the simplest forms of ART, which involves collecting the sperm and preparing it in the lab. Afterward, the prepared sperm will be inserted inside the womb of the woman, always close to the time of her ovulation.
Before all the entire procedure happens, there will need to be tubal potency tests performed to see if the couples are eligible for the procedure. Women are able to undergo IUI with or without the use of fertility drugs, depending on what’s recommended for them.
However, with this being a simpler procedure, expect the success rates to be lower compared to other treatments. This type of treatment is best recommended for select couples, as well as those who have no fertility problems. It’s also recommended for single women or same-sex couples looking to conceive from donated sperm or via surrogate.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
While IUI is the simplest, IVF is the most “popular” and well-known treatment of ART. An IVF procedure is performed by collecting sperm from a man and eggs from a woman. The sperm and eggs will be placed together in a Petri dish in the lab.
During this process, embryologists will observe if any fertilization takes place. Once fertilization takes place, and if the embryo goes through cell division (or cleavage), these good-quality embryos are placed into the woman’s uterus. The implantation happens between day 2 or 5.
However, there is actually more than one day to do IVF, such as:
- Natural Cycle IVF is done without any drugs throughout the fertility treatment
- Conventional IVF is performed throughout most IVF clinics. The woman’s ovaries are down-regulated (or suppressed) for around ten days before a woman’s menstrual cycle. This will then be followed by the administration of fertility drugs, which stimulates the growth of follicles and embryos. The theory behind this procedure is that the more embryos, the better the success rate.
- Mild IVF is the newest addition to the list of IVF procedures. Instead of shutting down the menstrual cycle, it’s performed during the natural cycle. Fewer fertility drugs are administered in this procedure, aiming to achieve only a mild response. However, the success rates are positive, and there are fewer risks and side effects from the procedure
In Vitro Maturation (IVM)
This is probably the most exciting and interesting treatments of ART. It was actually described as the future of ART, though only a few clinics provide the service since it’s still fairly new.
This procedure is done by collecting immature eggs from the woman’s ovaries during her natural cycle. Note that the menstrual cycle was unstimulated without fertility drugs. The eggs will then be matured in the lab, and once they’ve reached maturity, ICSI is performed for fertilization.
Without the use of fertility drugs, clinics are able to create multiple embryos which have a chance to conceive. This is a “healthier” and drug-free form of ART, and it will hopefully be available to different clinics worldwide.
Vitrification (Fast-Freezing Method)
Vitrification is a method used to freeze embryos, eggs, and/or sperms. Before, freezing gametes and embryos was risky because it had a lower thawing success rate. But with vitrification, the process has become easier and safer.
Through Vitrification, there is a better thawing success rate, and cells are frozen quicker compared to other methods. The new procedure helps avoid damaging ice crystals from forming in the cells to retain the overall health of the embryos, sperm, or eggs.
This procedure is especially helpful for couples who want to freeze and save their sperm, eggs, and embryos for future use in case of sickness or until such time they’re ready to conceive.
Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Usually, IVF with ICSI is performed because of male factor problems. This is because the procedure is usually done with IVF, though it can also be done alone depending on any issue.
This form of ART is used for achieving fertilization in case of a male factor problem. This involves the embryologist selecting one sperm and removing the tail, injecting it to an egg. But do take note that this is an invasive procedure which may cause damage to the egg, especially if done wrong.
That’s why most clinics only perform this procedure if deemed absolutely necessary. For conventional IVF, natural selection chooses the best sperm for fertilization. For ICSI, this is based on a human (embryologist) choice.
Wrapping It Up
As technology continues to develop, different ART treatments are now improving for better success rates. Take note that these do not ensure 100% success, but still assist in conception, as long as you find the right clinic and work with excellent professionals. With that being said, it’s worth considering any of these options and to get ready, emotionally, physically, and financially.
I hope that this article on the types of assisted reproductive technologies helped you out. So don’t wait any longer and look into your various options on ART now.
If you have any questions or want to share your experiences on any of these types of assisted reproductive technologies, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated!