Infertility (IVF)

Fertility and Assisted Reproductive Technology for couples looking for family building options

By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: January 17, 2012

Infertility (IVF)

Since the first test-tube baby in 1978, assisted reproduction medicine has advanced drastically. Medical technology today allows infertility treatments to help millions of people become parents. There are numerous infertility treatment options available to help couples having trouble conceiving. In order to determine which treatment is best for a particular patient or couple, candidates undergo infertility testing with the hopes of determining the source of the problem.

Treatments will depend on whether the cause of infertility is due to a male or female infertility factor. People who find themselves unable to become pregnant can feel frustrated and alone. Infertility burdens more than 6 million people every year. Fortunately, infertility specialists understand these hardships and work to solve the problems that lead to infertility. There are many factors that affect infertility. Age, genetics, body weight, smoking, heath problems and environmental factors can all cause infertility in both men and women.

Infertility Specialists

Infertility specialists can help diagnose the reason using infertility tests conducted over a couple of days and finds a solution to help you have a healthy, successful pregnancy. Infertility tests help determine whether the cause of infertility is due to a female or a male infertility factor and, therefore, recommend a subsequent solution.

Infertility Treatments

Infertility treatments have developed significantly since the birth of the first test-tube baby in 1978. From in-vitro fertilization to surrogacy, becoming pregnant through assisted reproductive technology is not a process that has to be confusing. Using developments in medical science techniques, men can overcome sperm deficiencies or problems with ejaculation through methods such as sperm retrieval, while women's egg production can be stimulated and harvested for healthy use.

Success Of Infertility Treatments

Infertility specialists and the medical techniques are constantly developing and the success rates vary depending on the type of treatment. On average, 25% of treatments will be successful during one cycle. It is likely that you will need more than one cycle of infertility treatment before you become pregnant. Infertility treatment helps more than 4 million people become parents every year.

IVF Procedure

The process of in vitro fertilization has four stages: Ovulation Induction, Egg Collection and Sperm Collection, Fertilization and Embryo Implantation.

Infertility specialists first ensure the woman is able to produce enough eggs for the IVF procedure. In many cases, fertility drugs are prescribed to increase ovulation to produce a greater number of eggs.  After the eggs are collected, a sperm sample from the male is prepared for fertilization using a sperm washing process.  Fertilization of collected egg and sperm takes place in controlled laboratory conditions. Once fertilization has occured the embryo is left to mature. Implantation takes place on day 3-5 post fertilization. Embryo implantation is where the fertilized embryo is implanted into the uterus. If the embryo is implanted successfully the patient is pregnant.

IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) Treatments

In-Vitro Fertilization, commonly known as IVF, is the most utilized infertility treatment to help assist pregnancy and overcome fertility problems.

IVF treatment is the fertilization of eggs outside of the body. Womens' eggs are removed and placed in a laboratory dish with prepared sperm. If IVF is successful at this stage, fertilization will occur and an embryos will develop. Viable embryos are implanted back into the patient. Successful implantation of the embryo results in pregnancy.   

A Good Candidate For IVF

Good candidates for IVF are couples are unable to carry a pregnancy to term after one year of unprotected sex. Men and women with damaged reproductive organs are good candidates as well as women over the age of 35 who are struggling with pregnancy. 

Causes Of Infertility

The causes of infertility can be due to problems in both males and females. Infertility is defined as the inability to carry a pregnancy to term after 1 year of unprotected sexual intercourse. Determining the cause of infertility is important for directing couples on their appropriate infertility treatment. 

Risks And Side Effects Of IVF

While doctors continually improve infertility treatments, IVF is not always successful. In addition, patients can experience side effects from the many hormones and drugs involved in the procedure. 

Cost Of IVF

The cost of IVF depends largely on the type of procedure one undergoes and how many cycles a patients requires to get pregnant. The location of treatment will also greatly influence the overall cost of IVF. 

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

Assisted Reproductive Technology is the most modern and effective method to provide fertiltiy solution for couples. Millions of couples all over the world come to seek help with this technique and start a happy family.

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This article was written by the medical research team at does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
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