Even if you and your partner have been unsuccessful in conceiving naturally, or after fertility medication or surgery, you may still be able to get pregnant!
IVF and assisted reproductive technologies
Reproductive technology is progressing faster and faster everyday, and doctors are now able to do some really amazing things to help couples get pregnant. Keep reading to find out more about in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART).
In-vitro fertilization is by far the most common Assisted Reproductive Technology, and it has shown some excellent results. For IVF, both your and your partner’s sex cells are extracted, and doctors fertilize the egg in a laboratory with your partner’s sperm to bypass an ovulatory problem, or a low sperm count, or any other condition of infertility that affects either of you. As is true for natural conception as well, the chance of getting pregnant through IVF decreases as you get older, and the quality of your eggs declines. Because the chance of conceiving during an IVF cycle, even for young women with healthy eggs, is only about 50% at most, doctors will generally extract, fertilize, and implant multiple eggs to increase the chances of conceiving during a given cycle. For this reason, in-vitro fertilization results in twins or more about 1/3 of the time. IVF is one of the best ways for women who have been struggling to get pregnant to do so. One downside of IVF is the cost, as couples may be expected to pay upwards of $25,000, so some may choose to explore alternative routes.
- Artificial Insemination: This technique involves artificially introducing sperm to the egg, and can include the most low-tech home methods (think turkey baster), to the expensive IVF. Even homemade artificial insemination methods can be successful, particularly if the problem is with the movement of your partner’s sperm.
- Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT): In this ART, sperm and eggs are extracted, mixed, and then placed in a woman’s fallopian tube where conception is the hopeful result. As is the case for natural conception, and artificial insemination including IVF, the probability of success for GIFT declines as you get older.
Even if you and your partner have been unable to conceive through natural methods, pregnancy is still entirely possible utilizing Artificial Reproductive Technologies like IVF.
- IVF, ICSI, what’s the difference?
- Everything you need to know about intrauterine insemination
- Why seek a fertility specialist?
- Josephine Johnston, L.L.B, M.B.H.L., Michael K. Gusmano, Ph.D., Pasquale Patrizio, M.D., M.B.E., H.C.L.D. “Preterm births, multiples, and fertility treatment: recommendations for changes to policy and clinical practices.” Fertility & Sterility. Volume 102, Issue 1, Pages 36-39. Web. 7/1/2014.
- “ASRM Patient Fact Sheet: Risks of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).” ASRM. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 2014. Web.
- “Thinking about fertility treatment.” March of Dimes. March of Dimes, 5/15/2015. Web.