Nowadays, there is a high prevalence of infertility among both men and women. If a couple has been together without using contraception for more than a year and cannot conceive, it is referred to as infertility.
Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) are designed to help these childless couples achieve their dream of having a baby. A variety of ART is used to achieve conception, including IVF (in vitro fertilization), ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), cryopreservation of embryos or gametes, and the use of fertility medications. Primarily, ART addresses infertility and reproductive endocrinology.
The most commonly known ART among the public is IVF, commonly called “test-tube baby”. However, this is not the first line of treatment for infertility. It is only used in patients with badly damaged fallopian tubes or ovarian/testicular dysfunction, especially in older couples or men with a very low count of sperm secondary to low spermatogenesis (low production of sperm) or blockage in the passage. In other cases, it is considered a last resort when other measures fail.
IVF involves both a man’s (husband’s) sperm and a woman’s (wife’s) egg. The procedure begins by extracting eggs from a woman’s body under ultrasound guidance through the vagina (Transvaginal Oocyte Aspiration) and then fusing it with the sperm in the ART laboratory to generate embryos. This embryo is then transferred back into the woman’s womb.
The success of ART is based on the number of live babies born after the use of one of the ART treatment modalities and the rate declines with the age of the partners. This is called the “Take Home Baby Rate”.With the involvement of only the partners (wife and husband) in the treatment, a reliable rate is around 25 to 30%.