A Comprehensive Overview of Assisted Reproduction
Assisted reproduction involves the use of different technologies to help improve a person’s chance of becoming pregnant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that just under 2% of U.S. children were born by using one of the assisted reproduction techniques. These techniques include everything from in vitro fertilization to intrafallopian transfer.
What Is Assisted Reproductive Technology?
All assisted reproduction technologies (ART) are administered to people who would like to use an alternative method to become pregnant. The complicated treatments are designed to influence the sperm and eggs in a manner that boosts the likelihood of fertilization.
While many people can request the use of ART, these technologies are mainly provided to those who have attempted to become pregnant with other infertility treatments without success. Another reason to use ART is to avoid the complications that can occur during a pregnancy. Health care professionals and fertility specialists can help you determine if assisted reproduction is right for you.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves the extraction of eggs to have them fertilized in a lab. Specialists are able to combine this technology with the embryo transfer technique to move the embryos directly to an individual’s uterus. Currently, around 99% of assisted reproduction procedures involve IVF. Success rates for this technology are:
- 35 or younger: 52%
- 35-37: 38.1%
- 38-40: 23.5%
- Over 40: 7.6%
If IVF isn’t successful the first time, it’s possible to pay for another cycle. While this technology improves the chances of pregnancy, possible complications include fertility drug side effects, an ectopic pregnancy, and multiple pregnancies.
Frozen Embryo Transfer
Frozen embryo transfer (FET) is a relatively modern technique that occurs when IVF embryos are frozen before being inserted into an individual’s uterus. This technique is considered to be just as safe and effective as using unfrozen embryos. However, there’s a risk that some of the embryos won’t survive during the thawing process.
An intrafallopian transfer is similar to IVF but is designed to use a laparoscopic surgery for the delivery of gametes into a person’s fallopian tube. The main complications with this form of assisted reproduction involve surgical issues, which extend to anesthesia side effects and infection. These transfers are rarely used because they cost more than in vitro fertilization.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
An intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a special procedure that may be performed with IVF to fertilize one or more eggs. An embryo specialist will place a small needle directly into the egg’s center. This injection process allows the sperm to be placed in an area that might increase the chances of pregnancy.
When you opt for this technique, around 50-80% of all eggs will be fertilized. The success rate for ICSI is similar to IVF and is ideal for individuals who are currently experiencing infertility because of sperm-related issues. Keep in mind that ICSI is typically added to IVF, which means that the treatment costs must take IVF into account.
A couple risks of using this technology include the possibility that some of the eggs could be damaged and that the egg may not grow even after the injection takes place. In the event that an individual becomes pregnant through natural means, the potential for a major birth defect is around 1-3%. However, this doesn’t mean that the treatment is the cause of the defect. Instead, the underlying cause for the infertility could be the issue.
Third-party assisted reproduction occurs when someone else donates their embryos, eggs, or sperm to a person or couple. This process might also involve a surrogate for the embryo. Since the use of third-party assisted reproduction means that another person will be involved in this process, you could seek legal assistance from a New Jersey adoption attorney like ours to help you navigate the situation and understand what your legal rights are.
Past results from these procedures indicate that around 50% of transfers from donated frozen embryos lead to pregnancy. There are several reasons why people choose to use this technique. For one, there’s a possibility that it might work even after IVF has failed. It could also help people who have been unable to produce a sperm or egg while trying to get pregnant.
Third-party ART can also help you avoid passing on a genetic health condition that you might have. If an individual has produced healthy eggs but hasn’t been able to reach the end of pregnancy, this procedure can assist them in carrying the pregnancy to term. Egg donation is the most inexpensive form of third-party ART. In comparison, a surrogacy arrangement can cost anywhere from $50,000-$150,000.
While the law regarding assisted reproduction technologies is still developing, you should consider having legal representation by your side when entering into an assisted reproduction agreement. Call our New Jersey adoption attorney today at (856) 429-5005 to set up your first appointment.