Other Assisted Reproductive Technology Treatments For Infertility

When most people think of Assisted Reproductive Technology treatments, the first things that come to mind are usually in vitro fertilization and in vitro maturation. While these may be among the top methods of treating infertility, several other options are available.

What Is Assisted Reproductive Technology?
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is any type of fertility treatment in which both the sperm and eggs are handled.

ART involves working with a team of highly skilled medical professionals, including your primary care physician, specialist physicians, psychologists, nurses, embryologists, laboratory technicians and allied health professionals, to make your dream of conception a reality.

Types of ART Procedures and Methods
The first step of ART treatments is procuring the sperm sample. If a partner’s impotence or low sperm motility is affecting the woman’s ability to get pregnant, a few different methods are possible. Surgical sperm aspiration involves surgically removing the sperm from the reproductive tract.

For men with spinal cord injuries that make them unable to regularly ejaculate, electric or vibratory stimulation may be used to accomplish this.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a procedure that uses a technique called micromanipulation. In ICSI, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg to cause fertilization. This procedure is often used in conjunction with the standard IVF procedure, as a fail-safe.

Another ART technique is called assisted hatching. This procedure is used to assist the implantation of the embryo into the uterine lining by opening the outer covering of the embryo, or “hatching” the egg.

Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer
Gamete Intra-fallopian Transfer (GIFT) is an assisted reproductive procedure available to women who have healthy reproductive organs capable of hosting insemination. In this procedure, the eggs are removed in the same manner as in vitro fertilization.

Sperm is extracted from the male and mixed with the eggs, which are then placed back inside the woman’s fallopian tubes by a simple laparoscopic surgery, so that they can be fertilized and grow.

In most cases, the woman will undergo fertility treatments before the procedure to ensure her eggs are in optimal condition for fertilization and conception.

Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT) is another type of assisted reproductive procedure that is very similar to in vitro fertilization.

The fertilization takes place in a laboratory. Then, instead of placing the fertilized embryos into the uterus, they’re placed into the fallopian tubes. It’s generally more successful than GIFT procedures because the doctors ensure fertilization before the specimens are transferred back into the womb.

If you’re looking for more information on ART procedures, fertility treatment resources, such as RESOLVE (The National Fertility Association), are available.