What Is Assisted Reproductive Therapy?

When you first find out that you may have infertility issues, it can be quite daunting. However, after the diagnosis a solution is usually discussed, so it’s not the end of the road if you plan on falling pregnant. Your gynaecologist may suggest a course of Assisted Reproductive Therapy. This includes one of the following: Ovulation Induction, IVF, ICSI, IUI, PGD, and Blastocyst Culture. Your gynaecologist may suggest one of these procedures or a number of them, depending on your body.

Ovulation Induction medications or fertility drugs stimulate the follicles in your ovaries. This causes your ovaries to produce multiple eggs in one cycle. These medications also control the time at which the eggs are released so that the most likely conception times can be scheduled.

IVF, which is an abbreviation for In Vitro Fertilisation, is the process of uniting the egg with the sperm in the laboratory. The embryos are transferred into the uterus via the cervix so that pregnancy is allowed to commence. This process is done in conjunction with ovulation induction medications, monitoring the hormonal levels as well as follicle scans.

ICSI, or Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection, is a breakthrough in treating male infertility as only one sperm is needed. It is injected directly into the egg and can give couples real hope especially where the man may have a very low sperm count or produces a few good quality sperm.

IUI, or Intra Uterine Insemination, is the process of collecting semen and placing it directly into the woman’s vagina, cervical canal, or uterine cavity. This process, which is also called artificial insemination, is used in response to both male and female infertility factors.

PDG, or Pre Genetic Diagnosis, is a process of screening the embryos for genetic diseases before they are placed in the uterus. It is used to evaluate gene defects or chromosomal abnormalities, and specific unbalanced translocations. This screening process makes it extremely unlikely that the disease could be passed on to the child.

Blastocyst Culture is a procedure which involves a blastocyst transfer and is not suitable for all couples. A blastocyst forms with an embryo reaches the five to seven day developmental stage. The embryo has sixty to one hundred cells distributed in the embryo lining and the inner mass (which later becomes the foetus). The embryo needs to reach the blastocyst stage in order to ensure proper implantation.