What are the Chances of Having a Child through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) includes various kinds of infertility treatments aimed to help couples with infertility concerns. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) these involve a surgical procedure where the woman’s eggs are retrieved and mixed with the sperm in a laboratory. They are then implanted into the woman’s fallopian tube or uterus.

Success Rate of ART

The success of the ART depends on a number of factors such as the age of the couples undergoing ART, the ART type, infertility causes, the egg type (fresh or frozen) and the embryo type (fresh or frozen). There are different types of ART, and the success of each method depends on many factors.

Types of ART

There are 4 types of ART, and they are expensive and time consuming. It is recommended that couples take the advice of a psychologist in the related field before they choose any type of ART, as it involves emotional costs along with the financial ones.

1. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is the most effective form of infertility treatment where the fertilization happens outside the body. In this method, the eggs of the woman are removed and mixed with the sperm in a glass dish in the laboratory for fertilization. Once the eggs are fertilized (usually between 3-5 days), the embryo is then implanted into the woman’s uterus. IVF is most suitable in cases where women have damaged fallopian tubes, unexplained fertility, severe endometriosis and deteriorated egg production. The success rate of IVF is between 50-65%. However, this depends on other factors such as the type of the infertility problem, its severity and its duration.

2. Zygote Intra-Fallopian Transfer (ZIFT)

The ZIFT is similar to IVF. However, the zygote (young embryo) is implanted into the fallopian tube and not in the uterus. This method is ideal for women who have one healthy fallopian tube and have had problems with embryo transfer through the cervix previously. The success rate of ZIFT is around 25-40% per zygote transfer.

3. Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT)

In GIFT, the eggs and the sperm are mixed outside the body and are immediately implanted into the woman’s fallopian tube to allow fertilization naturally. This method is ideal for women who have healthy fallopian tubes. The success rate of GIFT is between 25-35%; with 35% of successful pregnancies and 27% of live births following the GIFT procedure.

4. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

ICSI is a method where a sperm is injected into the egg directly. This is a more proven method as the sperm is selected, treated and then injected.  Once the egg is fertilized, it is transferred into the fallopian tube or the uterus. This method is ideal for cases where male fertility factors are severe. The ICSI has a high success rate for pregnancy, around 30-40%.

The chance of having a child with ART depends on the type of the procedure chosen and infertility concerns. However, there is no guarantee that ART will contribute to a successful pregnancy. According to a study conducted by CDC (National study by U.S Department of Health and Human services and CDC, 2003), around 65% of ART procedures failed to yield a successful pregnancy, in spite of using a fresh and non-donor egg or sperm. To achieve a successful pregnancy, more than one or repeated ART cycles are required, which is individual case specific.

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