Infertility is the inability of a couple to become pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. For pregnancy to occur following conditions are needed:
- The egg should be released from the woman’s ovaries
- The sperm of a man should meet the egg of the woman
- The fertilized egg should travel uterus from the fallopian tube
- The embryo or fertilized egg should implant in the wall of the uterus
What is Assisted reproductive technology?
ART is a procedure when both sperms and eggs are treated and fertilized in vitro in a laboratory. Eggs are removed from the woman’s ovaries and are fertilized in the laboratory using sperm. The fertilized egg is again implanted in the woman’s uterus for further development. The success of ART depends on:
- Age of the female
- The manner in which the procedure is done
- Quality of sperm
- Cause of infertility
Even after taking the non-invasive treatment, a woman doesn’t become pregnant; then, she has to go for more complicated techniques like ART. Assisted reproductive technology includes:
- Egg donation/sperm donation
Different types of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART):
Male infertility is mostly due to issues with sperm quality, quantity, and motility. The different types of Assisted Reproductive Technologies are:
- IVF or in vitro fertilization – IVF refers to the fertilization that happens outside a woman’s body. It is one of the most common types of ART and is mostly done when the fallopian tubes of a woman are blocked or when the sperm count of a man is low. According to a fertility centre in Delhi, the steps of IVF include:
- Stimulating the maturation of the egg
- Egg retrieval
- Transfer of embryo
- ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection) – The ICSI procedure is one of the best ways to treat male infertility. It includes the injection of a single sperm in the cytoplasm of a mature egg named an oocyte. In the ICSI procedure, female partners go for ovarian stimulation using fertility medications which causes the development of the mature eggs. The eggs are then incubated in a laboratory with the semen. When the egg is directly injected with the sperm, fertilization happens. It is best when the sperm number, quality, and function are abnormal. ICSI treatment reduces the number of sperm necessary for fertilization.
ICSI has a high success rate, and ICSI treatment cost ranges from Rs.2 lakh to 2.5 lakh. ICSI is a good option for males who have had a vasectomy reversal.
- Other – Male infertility can be treated with other assisted reproductive techniques like Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and Testicular extraction of sperm (TESE). These techniques are effective when semen lacks sperms. Couples should always discuss their ART options with the fertility specialist to find out the best course of action.
In half of the couples having problems in conceiving, the infertility is due to male factors. With the advancement of technology, ART options have helped in overcoming infertility issues in both males and females.