Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) involves several types of medical treatment designed to result in pregnancy. Types of ART include in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), embryo cryopreservation, egg or embryo donation, and gestational carriers.
In vitro fertilization is a highly sophisticated, meticulously timed procedure, which involves removing a ripened egg or eggs from the female’s ovary, fertilizing it with semen, incubating the dividing cells in a laboratory dish and then replacing the developing embryo in the uterus at the appropriate time.
The success and availability of IVF has raised the hopes of many infertile couples who have not been able to conceive because of infertility associated with not only blocked or absent fallopian tubes but also male infertility and many other causes.
This report provides an in-depth picture of the type, number, and outcome of ART cycles performed in U.S. fertility clinics. It also includes individual clinic tables that provide ART success rates and other information from each clinic.
Preparing for an IVF Cycle
- Before the first cycle a physician will do a semen analysis on the male and a trial or mock embryo transfer. This involves passing a catheter through the cervix into the uterus to determine its path through the cervix and to measure the distance to the top of the uterine cavity.
- IVF is generally proceeded by the use of ovulation-stimulating drugs to increase the number of mature eggs that can be retrieved.
- The process of IVF usually includes Ovulation Induction, Egg Retrieval and Embryo Transfer.
After an IVF Cycle
Read more about what to do with surplus embryos here.
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)
In this ART procedure fertilization takes place in the fallopian tube. GIFT should only be performed when sperm level is adequate and at least one fallopian tube is open and functional. The steps involved in GIFT are similar to IVF up to the point of egg retrieval. Egg retrieval is usually performed under general anesthesia, and the eggs and sperm are immediately transferred into a catheter that is used to place the eggs and sperm into the fallopian tube during a laparoscopy. Unlike IVF, there is no ability to document fertilization or to evaluate embryo quality in a GIFT procedure.
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
ZIFT is a combination of IVF and GIFT: A fertilized egg is transferred into the fallopian tubes. Fertilization takes place in a laboratory, and the zygotes (newly fertilized eggs) are transferred into the fallopian tubes at the time of laparoscopy. With ZIFT, fertilization is documented, but evaluation of the dividing embryo is not possible.
In the News:
- Taming the Twin Trend from Fertility Treatments, NPR, March 30, 2011