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|Assisted reproductive technology|
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a general term referring to methods used to achieve pregnancy by artificial or partially artificial means. It is reproductive technology used primarily in infertility treatments. Some forms of ART are also used in fertile couples for genetic reasons. ART is also used in couples who are discordant for certain communicable diseases, e.g. AIDS, to reduce the risk of infection when a pregnancy is desired. Examples of ART include in vitro fertilisation, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), cryopreservation, and intrauterine insemination (IUI). There is yet no strict definition of the term. Usage of the ART mainly belongs in the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
While there is no consensus on the definition, generally the process of intercourse is bypassed either by insemination (for example, artificial insemination) or fertilization of the oocytes in the laboratory environment (i.e., in vitro fertilization).
Procedures are mainly fertility medication, as well as ART techniques that use more substantial and forceful interventions, of which in vitro fertilization (IVF) and expansions of it (e.g. OCR, AZH, ICSI, ZIFT) are the most prevalent. However, there are also other manual ART, not necessarily dependent on IVF (e.g. PGD, GIFT, SSR).
Most fertility medication are agents that stimulate the development of follicles in the ovary. Examples are gonadotropins and gonadotropin releasing hormone.
Techniques usually used in in vitro fertilization include:
The following are techniques generally requires methods of in vitro fertilisation. In vitro fertilization, however, usually does not require these techniques.
The following Assisted Reproduction techniques don't necessarily involve IVF.
The majority of IVF-conceived infants do not have birth defects. However, some studies have suggested that assisted reproductive technology is associated with an increased risk of birth defects. In the largest U.S. study, which used data from a statewide registry of birth defects, 6.2% of IVF-conceived children had major defects, as compared with 4.4% of naturally conceived children matched for maternal age and other factors (odds ratio, 1.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.67).
The main risks are:
Other risk factors are:
Not everyone in the U.S. has insurance coverage for fertility investigations and treatments. Many states are starting to mandate coverage, and the rate of utilization is 277% higher in states with complete coverage.
There are some health insurance companies that cover diagnosis of infertility but frequently once diagnosed will not cover any treatment costs.
2005 approximate treatment/diagnosis costs (United States, costs in US$):
Another way to look at costs is to determine the expected cost of establishing a pregnancy. Thus if a clomiphene treatment has a chance to establish a pregnancy in 8% of cycles and costs $500, the expected cost is $6,000 to establish a pregnancy, compared to an IVF cycle (cycle fecundity 40%) with a corresponding expected cost of $30,000 ($12,000/.4).
For the community as a whole, the cost of IVF on average pays back by 700% by tax from future employment by the conceived human being.
In the UK all patients have the right to preliminary testing, provided free of charge by the National Health Service. However, treatment is not widely available on the NHS and there can be long waiting lists. Many patients therefore pay for immediate treatment within the NHS or seek help from private clinics.
In Sweden, official fertility clinics provide most necessary treatments and initial workup, but there are long waiting lists, especially for egg donations, since the donor gets just as low reward as the receiving couple are charged. However, there are private fertility clinics.
Some treatments are covered by OHIP (public health insurance) in Ontario and others are not. Those undergoing artificial insemination or with bilaterally blocked fallopian tubes and under 40 have treatment is covered but are still required to pay lab fees (around $3,000–4,000). Coverage veries in other provinces. Most other patients are required to pay for treatments themselves.
Israel's National Health Insurance, which is mandatory for all Israeli citizens, covers nearly all fertility treatments. In-Vitro-Fertilization costs are fully subsidized up to the birth of two children for all Israeli women, including single women and lesbian couples. Embryo transfers for purposes of gestational surrogacy are also covered.
The national public health system of New Zealand covers IVF treatment in specific circumstances only, based on a 'points for conception challenges' equation. Publicly funded IVF treatments are limited (between one and three treatments dependent on criteria) and are subject to substantial wait-lists, dependent on local health funding region, which raises potential inequity of ART support across the country. Infertility testing through blood tests can be covered by public funding, however in the absence of explicit gynecological complications, additional investigations are may not be covered publicly. Investigation such as a hysterosalpingogram may be covered, but the wait-list could be in excess of six weeks, whereas a privately sourced HSG can cost $NZ900 but is readily available. Many New Zealanders select self-funded IVF cycles, at approximately $NZ10,000 per cycle, and other forms of ART, such as IUI, at approximately $NZ1200, using the services of private fertility clinics, which in itself is a growing local industry. Individuals using private services are generally not covered under personal health insurance policies in New Zealand.
Some couples find it difficult to stop treatment despite very bad prognosis, resulting in futile therapies. This may give ART providers a difficult decision of whether to continue or refuse treatment.
Films and other fiction depicting emotional struggles of assisted reproductive technology have had an upswing in the latter part of the 2000s decade, although the techniques have been available for decades. Yet, the amount of people that can relate to it by personal experience in one way or another is ever growing, and the variety of trials and struggles are huge.
In addition, reproduction and pregnancy in speculative fiction has been present for many decades.
Up to date infertility treatments== External links ==
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