Sishu Fertility Clinic

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Assisted Reproductive Technology(ART): A Complete Guide

What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?

Assisted reproductive technology (ART), also known as fertility treatments or advanced reproductive technologies. ART is a series of medical procedures offered by specialists in the field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) designed to help individuals and couples struggling with infertility achieve pregnancy. ART encompasses various procedures, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), egg or sperm donation. In some ART procedures, like IVF, eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries, fertilized with sperm in a laboratory, and then transferred back to the woman’s uterus for implantation.



Why to choose ART?

Building a family through ART is a team effort. It’s a deeply personal decision you and your partner make alongside fertility specialists, hand-in-hand.

Here’s a closer look at some of the most common reasons why individuals choose ART:

1. Overcoming Infertility

 For couples struggling with infertility, ART can provide a path towards parenthood. When other fertility treatments, such as medication or surgery, haven’t yielded the desired outcome, ART procedures can offer a viable alternative.

2. Single Individuals and Same-Sex Couples Building Families

 ART empowers single individuals and same-sex couples to have biological children. Through procedures like egg or sperm donation, surrogacy, or a combination of techniques, ART offers these individuals and couples the opportunity to conceive and build families.

3. Addressing Genetic Concerns

 For individuals with a family history of certain genetic diseases, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can be used in conjunction with ART procedures. PGD allows for the screening of embryos for specific genetic conditions, potentially reducing the risk of passing these conditions on to future generations.

4. Age-Related Fertility Decline

 As a natural consequence of aging, fertility declines in both men and women. For women, this decline becomes more pronounced after the age of 35. ART procedures, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), can significantly improve the chances of conception for women facing age-related fertility challenges.

(Note: ART is not the only fertility treatment available there are also other variety of options for fertility treatments.)

What are the advantage of Assisted Reproductive Technology?

ART has emerged as a valuable fertility treatment for overcoming various fertility challenges, due to several key advantages:

1. Improved Success Rates

 For younger women in particular, ART procedures often boast higher success rates compared to other fertility treatments. This can be attributed to the use of advanced techniques that optimize the fertilization process.

2. Advanced Technology for Enhanced Chances

 ART leverages sophisticated technology to create a more favorable environment for fertilization. These technologies, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), allow for precise manipulation of sperm and egg cells, potentially increasing the likelihood of successful conception.

3. Addressing a Wide Range of Fertility Issues

 The versatility of ART is another significant advantage. It can be effectively utilized to address a diverse range of fertility problems. Whether the challenge lies with blocked fallopian tubes, low sperm count, or other factors, various ART procedures can offer tailored solutions to improve the chances of pregnancy.

4. Controlled Laboratory Setting

ART procedures take place within a controlled laboratory environment. This meticulous setting allows for precise monitoring of factors like temperature, pH levels, and oxygen concentration. These controlled conditions provide an ideal environment for fertilization and early embryo development, potentially leading to a higher success rate.

Cost of ART

The cost of ART ranges from NPR 2,50,000 to NPR 4,00,000 (approximately USD $2,000 to USD $3,200).

Here’s a breakdown of what this cost might typically include:

  • Consultation Fees

 Initial consultations with fertility specialists are often included in the overall cost. These consultations allow for a comprehensive assessment of your individual situation and the development of a personalized treatment plan.

  • Laboratory Procedures

The IVF process involves sophisticated laboratory techniques such as egg retrieval, sperm preparation, fertilization, and embryo culture. The cost covers the expenses associated with these specialized procedures.

  • Medications

Fertility medications are often required to stimulate egg production and prepare the uterus for implantation. The cost of these medications can vary depending on the specific medications used and the treatment cycle.

  • Additional Services

 Depending on your specific needs, additional services such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), or cryopreservation (freezing) of embryos may be recommended. These additional services will incur extra charges.

Other Factors Influencing the Cost of ART Procedures

The cost of ART can vary depending on several key factors. Understanding these factors can help you make informed financial decisions as you consider ART treatment.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most significant factors that can influence the cost of ART:

  • Type of Treatment

 Different ART procedures have varying cost structures. For instance, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is generally the most common ART procedure, but its cost may differ from procedures like intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). ICSI involves a more specialized technique for fertilization, potentially increasing its cost compared to traditional IVF. 

 

  • Number of Treatment Cycles

 ART procedures are not always successful on the first attempt. Sometimes, multiple treatment cycles may be necessary to achieve pregnancy. The cost of ART will naturally increase with each additional cycle required.

 

  • Donor Eggs or Sperm

 If you require donor eggs or sperm to achieve pregnancy, this will add to the overall cost of treatment. Clinics typically have separate charges for donor services, which may include compensation for the donor, screening procedures, and legal fees.

 

  • Geographic Location

 The cost of ART can vary significantly depending on your geographic location. Generally, ART procedures is more expensive in developed countries compared to developing ones. Even within a single country, costs can differ between regions due to variations in the cost of living, clinic overhead costs, and healthcare regulations.

 

  • Clinic Selection

 Costs can also differ between fertility clinics. Factors like the clinic’s experience, reputation, the technology used, and the range of services offered can influence pricing. Clinics with higher success rates or those offering more advanced technologies may have higher costs compared to others.

Understanding Success Rates in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

 The success rate of ART, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2021 report, approximately 238,126 patients underwent 413,776 ART cycles across 453 reporting clinics. These cycles resulted in 91,906 live births in the United States. While ART procedures have advanced significantly, not every cycle results in a live birth.

Factors Influencing ART Success Rates:

The success rate of an ART procedure depends on a multitude of factors. Here are some of the Factor affecting success rate: 

  • Patient Age

A woman’s age is a critical factor in ART success. Younger women generally have a higher chance of achieving pregnancy through ART than older women. This is due to the natural decline in egg quality and quantity that occurs with age.

  • Cause of Infertility

The underlying cause of infertility can influence the success rate of an ART procedure. For instance, couples with unexplained infertility may have a higher success rate compared to those with certain medical conditions affecting fertility.

  • Type of ART Procedure

 Different ART procedures have varying success rates. In general, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) boasts the highest success rates among all ART procedures. However, factors like Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) within IVF can further influence outcomes.

  • Number of Embryos Transferred

 The number of embryos transferred during an ART cycle can impact the likelihood of pregnancy. Transferring multiple embryos increases the chance of implantation, but also carries a higher risk of multiple births. The decision on the number of embryos to transfer is typically made collaboratively between the patient and the fertility specialist, carefully considering success rates, potential risks, and the patient’s preferences.

  • Lifestyle Factors

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can positively influence ART outcomes. Factors like a balanced diet, regular exercise, and managing stress can contribute to overall well-being and potentially improve the chances of a successful pregnancy through ART.

What are the Side Effects Associated with ART Procedures?

It is important to be aware of potential side effects associated with these procedures. Here’s a closer look at some of the more common side effects:

  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

This condition can occur in response to the fertility medications used to stimulate egg production during ART procedures, particularly IVF. Symptoms of OHSS can include abdominal bloating, pelvic pain, and swollen ovaries. In severe cases, OHSS can lead to complications that require hospitalization. Fortunately, fertility specialists closely monitor patients for signs of OHSS and can adjust medication regimens to minimize the risk.

  • Multiple Pregnancies

 ART procedures often involve transferring multiple embryos to the uterus to increase the chances of a successful implantation. However, this can also raise the risk of multiple pregnancies, such as twins or triplets. While some may view this as a positive outcome, multiple pregnancies carry a higher risk of complications for both the mother and the babies. The decision on the number of embryos to transfer is typically made collaboratively between the patient and the fertility specialist, carefully considering the potential risks and benefits.

  • Ectopic Pregnancy

 An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, most commonly in a fallopian tube. This is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention. While ectopic pregnancy can occur naturally, ART procedures may slightly increase the risk. Early detection and treatment are important to prevent complications.

  • Emotional and Psychological Stress

 The ART journey can be emotionally and psychologically demanding. The desire for pregnancy, combined with the uncertainty of treatment outcomes, can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression. It’s important to acknowledge these emotional challenges and seek support from partners, family, mental health professionals, or support groups specifically for individuals undergoing fertility treatment.

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