Assisted Reproductive Technology

Assisted reproductive techniques include artificial or partially artificial infertility treatment procedures used in order to conceive a baby. Among several techniques available, the appropriate ones to be used are decided after evaluating on the nature of the couple’s problem.

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Types
of assisted reproductive technologies

 

1.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI):

In
this procedure, semen collected beforehand is directly placed inside the woman’s
uterus with the help of a catheter.
  This
technique is used in cases where the male has a low sperm count or decreased
motility. It helps by placing the sperm closer to the egg, but the sperm still has
to reach and fertilize the egg on its own. IUI can be performed during a
natural cycle, but fertility enhancing drugs are used to increase the chances
of pregnancy.
 

 

 2. 
In-vitro fertilization (IVF):
 

 Widely known as test tube baby, IVF involves
fertilization of a single egg in a test tube, outside the body, by exposing the
egg to 100,000 sperms or less. In this procedure, the eggs and sperms are
retrieved and manually combined in a laboratory dish. The embryo formed after
fertilization is then transferred into the uterus of the woman.

 

 3. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): 

This
procedure is used when the quality of sperm is very poor. In this technique,
sperms retrieved from the testis or epididymis are directly injected into the
center of an egg.
 

 

 4. Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR):  

This
is usually performed when the male partner is unable to ejaculate sperm.
Sometimes the male partner may produce mature sperms, but these may not be able
to reach the ejaculate due to an obstruction in the vas deferens. In such cases,
sperms
can be extracted directly from the epididymis or testes through various
techniques including Percutaneous Epidydimal Sperm Aspiration (PESA),
Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA), Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) etc.

 

 5. Frozen Embryo Replacement Cycle (FERC): 



When surplus good
quality embryos are produced during an IVF cycle, they can be frozen and used
for transfer in a subsequent cycle. Thus, a FERC makes use of good quality
embryos, which would have otherwise been discarded. It minimizes the number of
times the ovaries need to be stimulated to produce eggs, thus reducing number
of hospital visits and treatment costs for achieving a pregnancy. The embryos
are frozen at extremely low temperature, usually around -180°C, to prevent
deterioration over time. As per the timing of the woman’s ovulation cycle, the
embryos are thawed and replaced three to five days after ovulation.
    

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