Take a moment, think of all the people you know that have experienced infertility. Family, friends, celebrities? Although approximately 10-15% of couples in the US struggle with infertility, there are a number of treatments that can serve as alternatives to natural conception.
Hearing the words “Assisted Reproductive Technology” and “fertility treatment” can incite an overwhelming sense of anxiety and fear, but the availability of this technology can also provide hope to those who feel that they have exhausted all of their options in their quest to start a family.
There are several choices available to couples seeking ART, as briefly described below. Reproductive endocrinologists, physicians trained in ART, guide couples through these methods and help them decide what is the right procedure for them.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a method of inserting sperm into a woman’s uterus. This method is particularly used in cases of male infertility.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a procedure in which an egg and sperm are joined in a laboratory. IVF is particularly used in cases of ovarian failure and advanced maternal age.
Third Party Assisted ART provides options to couples who are unable to conceive or carry their own biological children, homosexual couples, and individuals who do not have a partner and wish to have children. Third Party Assisted ART encompasses egg donors, sperm donors, carriers and adoption.
Couples and individuals should consult with their doctor and team of specialists for assistance in deciding on the option(s) that work best for them. To receive more information regarding this topic, and to learn more about current success rates for specific institutions, individuals and couples can visit SART (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology) at SART.org and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at CDC.gov./art.