An estimated 9% of men and 11% of women have lived experience with infertility, making assisted reproductive technology (ART) all the more vital. While in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common fertility treatment, assisted fertility includes all care in which eggs or embryos are influenced clinically. Many factors related to the patient influence the overall success of IVF, such as age, type of diagnosis, number of embryos, type of procedure, and previous history of any births and miscarriages.
Breaking down reproductive tech
In short, ART is utilized to manage infertility. The treatment incorporates fertility medicines that focus on at least 2 eggs and sperm. During a round of IVF, independently fertilizing eggs taken from the ovaries are combined 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. The healthier the patient, the higher the success rate. Other common procedures include using surrogates, donor eggs, donor sperm, or previously frozen embryos. For women unable to carry a pregnancy to term but able to produce viable eggs, a gestational carrier helps bridge the gap.
Solutions to multiple pregnancies
Elective single-embryo transfer (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.
What's your background?
As a general rule, inherited genetics determine a woman's overall rates of fertility. Women with a family history of conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), functional hypothalamic amenorrhea, or premature ovarian insufficiency are at a higher risk of trouble with pregnancy. Specific preexisting health conditions cause women to have periods without ovulation, known as anovulation. To address any potential challenges, meeting with a reproductive specialist can help maximize the odds of success.
Your first round of IVF
From embryo transfers to gestational carriers, reproductive technology provides many options for couples struggling with infertility. The first round of IVF can be intimidating, but knowing what to expect can help keep the guesswork to a minimum. As eggs decrease in quality with age, strategic planning can help many women get pregnant. Eggs decrease and degrade with age, raising the importance of strategic planning. By leveraging reproductive technology, care providers can tailor the plan to the patient while raising the likelihood of conception.