I’m Ready To Conceive, What’s ART?
Nearly a 3rd of adults in the United States have experienced fertility treatments or personally know an IVF patient. While overall rates depend on patient background and health history, countless families across the US rely on assisted reproductive technology to conceive. With more than a million babies delivered secondary to fertility treatments, rates rise even higher when patients have access to ART. From IVF and surrogacy to donor eggs and frozen sperm, the success of reproductive technology depends on a diverse set of factors.
But how does reproductive technology work?
Advanced reproductive technology is utilized to manage infertility. The treatment incorporates fertility medicines that focus on at least 2 eggs and sperm. Reproductive technology works by independently fertilizing eggs taken from the ovaries with the selected sperm. The viable embryos are then returned to the parent or surrogate’s body. Some experts note that IVF is the most well-known and successful type of ART. However, the success of the procedure largely depends on the individual patient. Other common procedures include surrogates, donor eggs, sperm, or previously frozen embryos.
The most widely recognized risk of ART procedures is multiple pregnancies within a uterus. While some patients may be excited at the prospect of twins or triplets, multiple births also increase risks. Women with multiple pregnancies should see primary care doctors more often than single pregnancies. Notably, multiple pregnancy babies are at increased risk of premature deliveries, low birth weight, and various disabilities. In such cases, some women go on bed rest to delay labor to a healthy date. For women carrying 3 or more babies, delivery via C-section is a necessary, life-saving measure.
While many ART procedures run the risk of multiple pregnancies, doctors suggest a strategy to help minimize risk. Elective single-embryo transfer, commonly known as eSET is a procedure where a pre-selected embryo is placed either in the uterus or directly into the fallopian tube. Depending on patient needs, the selected embryo could be from a previous IVF cycle or a current IVF cycle that provided more than one viable embryo. Any additional embryos may be set aside for future use or preservation by freezing.
Conceiving with reproductive technology
While infertility can be frustrating, painful, and exhausting, assisted reproductive technology provides hope for countless patients. American families experiencing difficulty getting pregnant can use reproductive technology to determine viable eggs and increase the likelihood of conception. At least a 3rd of the population of the United States of America have experience with IVF treatments, which means infertility is a common, treatable issue. While no piece of reproductive technology is a guaranteed pregnancy, ART, such as eSET and IVF help many women safely conceive.