In the 1970s, British doctors began removing eggs from women who had trouble conceiving and fertilized the eggs in a laboratory. Researchers called this experimental procedure in vitro fertilization (IVF), and after many attempts the first test-tube baby was born in 1978.
ART procedures are non-invasive, expensive, and without side effects. But so far, no long-term health effects have been linked to children born using ART procedures, and for many people with fertility problems, ART is the best chance of having a biological child.
What are common assisted reproductive technology techniques?
Here’s a rundown of the main ART techniques popular today:
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
About 99 percent of ART procedures done are IVF treatments. Eggs are combined with your partner’s sperm in a laboratory. After fertilization, the resulting embryos develop for three to five days before being transferred to your uterus.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
Approximately most of all patients, use ICSI as the fertilization method. In this procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into your egg, rather than placing many sperm next to the egg, as in IVF. After fertilization, the resulting embryos develop for three to five days before being transferred to your uterus.
Donor egg or embryo
If you’re unable to conceive with your own eggs, you can have IVF treatment using eggs donated by another woman. The donor egg is combined with your partner’s sperm, and the resulting embryo is transferred to your uterus. This procedure can also be done with a donated embryo or donated sperm.