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4 Assisted Reproductive Technologies For Couples Who Want To Get Pregnant

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 15, 2023

4 Assisted Reproductive Technologies For Couples Who Want To Get Pregnant

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) are a set of procedures used to help couples get pregnant. Usually, couples resort to ART or what others also refer to as “reproductive artificial technologies” when other fertility treatments have failed.  When it comes to ART, you have several options. But generally, 4 reproductive artificial technologies you can consider are in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), intrafallopian transfer (IFT) and frozen embryo transfer (FET). The main difference between these treatments lies in the collection of eggs and sperm or the implantation of the fertilized egg.

Let’s take a look at these 4 productive artificial technologies:

1. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a fertility treatment that removes mature eggs from the ovaries. Then these are combined with sperm cells in the lab. Once fertilization occurs, the embryo will then be transferred into the uterus. Then, the woman can carry it to term—and hopefully give birth! 

As simple as it sounds, in vitro fertilization actually involves a series of steps. In fact, one cycle typically takes about 3 weeks. 

In vitro fertilization is the most common of the 4 reproductive artificial technologies. 

2. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a technique used in assisted reproductive technology to treat male infertility, such as when the man has very few viable sperm. This can occur with poor sperm production or quality (morphology). 

 It’s almost similar to IVF, but instead of simply “mixing” the sperm and egg, ICSI involves injecting a single sperm into an egg, maximizing the chances of fertilization. 

3. Intrafallopian Transfer (IFT)

One of the 4 reproductive artificial technologies is IFT. This IFT involves delivering the gametes (egg and sperm) or zygote into the fallopian tube. There are three types of IFT:

Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer

The procedure involves collecting eggs and sperm in the tube. These are then transferred directly to the fallopian tube where they will (hopefully) meet. Fertilization can then take place.

Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)

ZIFT is a method of assisted reproductive technology in which the egg and sperm are combined in a laboratory, forms fertilized eggs (zygotes), then transferred to the fallopian tube. This technique is often helpful when the woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, or she has poor ovarian reserve (egg quality). 

Pronuclear Stage Tubal Transfer (PROST)

PROST is similar to ZIFT in the sense that fertilization takes place in the laboratory and then the fertilized egg is transferred to the fallopian tubes. The difference is that PROST transfers the fertilized egg before cell division happens. 

4. Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

The procedure involves transferring thawed (previously frozen) embryos from the lab into a woman’s uterus. 

Usually, couples take advantage of this assisted reproductive technology when their past IVF treatment produced more than one healthy embryo. As couples only need one, the rest of the healthy fertilized eggs can be frozen for future cycles (should they decide to get pregnant again). 

FET appears to be as safe as transferring fresh fertilized eggs. However, some evidence suggests that it increases the risk of preterm birth. 

Key Takeaways

The 4 reproductive artificial technologies are in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), intrafallopian transfer (IFT), and frozen embryo transfer (FET). The general idea here is to transfer the gametes or fertilized egg  to either the fallopian tube or uterus, increasing the woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Note that there is also Third-Party ART, where someone else donates egg and sperm cells or another woman carries the baby (surrogacy).  
However, in the Philippines, the most common ART is in vitro fertilization. But even this can be too expensive for many couples, particularly after they’ve exhausted their financial resources to other fertility treatments.

Learn more about Being Pregnant here

Disclaimer

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.



Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD

Pediatrics


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Mar 15, 2023

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