Couples who are dealing with the frustration and disappointment of infertility may find new hope with recent advances in in vitro fertilization
that can increase many couples' chances of finally conceiving and starting the family they've hoped for. Combined with other assisted reproductive therapies (ART), such as assisted hatching and sperm retrieval and hatching, IVF can dramatically increase a couple's chances of becoming pregnant, whether the underlying cause of infertility is due to male or female conditions, or both. In vitro fertilization
begins with the administration of ovulation-enhancing drugs, which encourage a woman to produce multiple eggs during a single ovulation cycle. During this cycle, the signs of ovulation are carefully monitored to ensure the eggs are perfectly prepared for the treatment. Once they are ready, the eggs are combined ?in vitro ? - literally, ?in glass? - in a special vessel in a highly controlled environment, and introduced to sperm from the potential baby's father. The eggs are monitored for signs of fertilization, and once fertilization has occurred, the embryos can be placed into the uterus. A few weeks and a pregnancy test later, hopeful couples will know if IVF worked for them, like it has for many couples in the past few decades. IVF and complementary ART techniques have undergone significant advances in recent years, and couples should seek guidance from an experienced specialist to learn about the exciting new options that can help them conceive and begin building on their own dreamed-of family.