Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) refers to methods used to achieve pregnancy by artificial means in the lab. Techniques include InVitro Fertilization(IVF), Intrauterine Insemination(IUI), Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection(ICSI).
IUI involves collection of semen (usually by masturbation), processing semen in the lab and transferring it directly into the uterus with the help of a catheter. It can be done in a natural cycle or by using fertility enhancing drugs, which improves pregnancy rate.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF), also referred to as "test tube baby" is the most commonly used practice for assisted conception in the world. This technique was first used in 1978 in England. IVF means fertilization of an ovum (egg) with sperm in the lab and then transferring the embryo(s) into the uterus of the woman.
Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an in-vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg. This procedure is mainly used to treat male fertility problems.
Steps involved in IVF and/or ICSI programme
Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH): Daily hormonal injections medication to stimulate ovaries to obtain multiple eggs
Follicular development tracking with ultrasound and blood tests
Egg retrieval from follicles in ovary general anesthesia
Collecting semen sample
Fertilization of eggs with sperm in the laboratory
Embryo(s) transfer into the uterus under ultrasound guidance
Pregnancy testing- blood test
Specific medications post-treatment and pregnancy follow up care is given.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
Ectopic (pregnancy in the tube) pregnancy
Risks of Egg retrieval-Bleeding, infection, injury to adjoining organs, anaesthesia risks