For some women, the ability to bear children is a privilege that has to be worked on over time, and sometimes even supported. This is where assisted reproductive technology comes in.
The term generally refers to any fertility treatment wherein the eggs are surgically removed to be combined with sperm stored in a laboratory. In some cases, these are both implanted back to the woman or donated to another woman.
Assisted reproductive technology can be used by women who want to try other methods for having children if they can’t do so naturally. Because of this, we have the advances of science and technology to thank as it makes up for our natural or biological shortcomings.
There are various assisted reproductive technology techniques being used today, such as:
In vitro fertilization
One of the older and most popular methods for assisted reproductive technology, in vitro fertilization combines the eggs and sperm in a laboratory dish.
If fertilization occurs, the embryos are left to develop for 3 to 5 days and then planted in the woman’s uterus. It is also one of those practiced that have the highest success rates.
Gamete intrafallopian transfer
A process wherein the eggs are combined with sperm in a laboratory dish, then uses a fiber-thin tube to inject these into the fallopian tubes. If successful, the fertilization for this method of assisted reproductive technology will occur inside the body.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection
This technique includes the process wherein sperm from a woman’s partner is planted inside the egg using a microscopic needle. Once fertilization occurs, the embryo will be placed in the uterus.
Donor egg or embryo
If a woman is unable to conceive with her own egg or embryo, this method of assisted reproductive technology involves an egg donated by another woman to be mixed with your partner’s sperm. The fertilized egg or the embryo will then be implanted in the uterus where it will develop for nine months.
Surrogacy or gestational carrying
Although not a direct laboratory process of assisted reproductive technology, it involves another woman carrying your embryo and giving you the baby after birth. In this case, you don’t have to carry the baby in your womb.
The various methods involved with assisted reproductive technology are also combined with fertility drugs depending on the unique needs of each patient in order to have higher success rates.
These processes should be seen as the last resort when one cannot have a baby, and not something to be done immediately. This is because the processes in assisted reproductive technology are quite invasive, and also cost a lot of money for the technology and laboratory processes involved.
Because of the costs involved with assisted reproductive technology, banks can provide loans for this specific purpose. Some insurance companies may also have plans that allow for coverage dealing with infertility, although it is rare to find insurance that will cover the entire cost. It is usually only a fraction provided. Nonetheless, they can help you pay for your treatment.