Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

For some couples, the only way to improve their odds of getting pregnant is to use medical means. For example, males with low sperm count, or females with polycystic ovarian syndrome, may have difficulty conceiving due to their medical conditions. In these types of situations, assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) may be the best option.

For those unfamiliar with what is included in this form of infertility treatment, the most common forms of ART are in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intra uterine insemination (IUI). In its simplest terms, IVF is the surgical implantation of a fertilized egg into a woman's uterus. IUI, on the other hand, requires a man's sperm to be artificially placed in the woman's uterus (womb) by a catheter.

There are many other types of ARTs, such as gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Each offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages, depending on the cause of the infertility.

In general, ART tends to work best when both partners are in good reproductive health; in other words, when the woman has a healthy uterus and responds well to fertility drugs, and when the man has healthy sperm.