What are Assisted Reproduction Techniques?

Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART) include all medical and minimally invasive surgical treatment which aims to help sterile couples get pregnant.

Which are the main Assisted Reproduction Techniques?

We highlight the following treatments:

  • Programmed Intercourse (OI)
  • Artificial Insemination with partner semen (AIH) or with donor semen (DI)
  • In vitro Fertilization (IVF) + Embryo Transfer
  • Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)
  • Donor Embryo Transfer (DET)
  • Egg donation
  • Reception of fertilized embryos with donor eggs
  • Fertility preservation

What’s the difference between Artificial Insemination and In Vitro Fertilization? Which is best?

Neither one is better, they are different. In Artificial Insemination with Partner Semen (AIH) or Donor Semen (DI), we process the semen selecting the best quality sperm. We introduce them in the uterus or womb at the moment of ovulation. With In vitro Fertilization, one or two embryos are introduced in the woman’s uterus. We have previously prepared the patient provoking controlled hyperstimulation of the ovaries. With this we get the ovaries to respond offering a large amount of mature eggs. All these eggs are inseminated with partner or donor semen, depending on the case. The resulting embryos (two max.) are transferred to the patient’s uterus. In exceptional cases, three can be transferred, but never more. If more embryos have been obtained, the others are cryopreserved (frozen) to be used in later defrosting cycles (FET).

Is the same response always obtained from the human reproduction treatment?

Many factors influence the response to treatment, mainly seminal quality and the woman’s age.

What are my chances of getting pregnant? What is the success rate for couples using Assisted Reproduction Techniques?

The pregnancy rates of Assisted Reproduction Techniques vary depending fundamentally on two factors: the woman’s age and the quality of the semen. In the case of a patient up to 32 years old, with good quality semen, the pregnancy rates, carrying out up to four inseminations, can be up to 40 per cent. If we carry out In vitro Fertilization in the same conditions of good quality semen and a woman under 32, the rates of pregnancy are between 40 and 60 per cent. The worse the quality of the semen, and the older the patient is, the pregnancy rates get progressively lower.

Is there a greater risk of foetal malformation?

Currently, more than 5,000,000 babies have been born through In vitro Fertilization and it has been found that the rates of malformation are the same as in babies born through natural conception. There are currently many studies which aim to provide more data on this subject.

Are Assisted Reproduction Techniques painful?

Not at all, in most Assisted Reproduction Techniques, we give the patient subcutaneous or oral hormonal treatment, which is tolerated well by most patients. When follicular puncture is carried out to collect oocytes, although it is a minimally invasive procedure, we first administer intravenous sedative so the patient is sedated during the process.

What risks are there? Does the treatment have complications or side effects?

We have identified two complications which we consider specifically related to Assisted Reproduction Techniques: multiple pregnancy and Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. The risk of multiple pregnancy is greater with insemination treatment and can be avoided by minimising the doses of hormonal treatment and above all cancelling insemination in cases where the ecography shows more than 3-4 follicles. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome can also be prevented with an adequate specific treatment. Plus, this occurs rarely, in less that one per cent of cases.

What availability is needed for treatment? ¿Will I have to ask for a lot of days off work?

Only In vitro Fertilization needs two days off work. The day of the puncture, and the day of the transfer. On other days, and with other treatment, there is no need for it to affect your work schedule.

I’m very nervous, what can I do?

Infertility causes anxiety. During assisted reproduction treatment this anxiety increases. We recommend that you talk about everything that is worrying you with the specialists so they can help you during treatment. With their experience they will help to clarify any questions and fears which are causing you stress. At our centre, we also have a psychologist available to offer you all the psychological support you require.

Are children born via these techniques like other children?

The experience of paediatricians and teachers confirm that the almost five million children born from assisted reproduction techniques have psychomotor behaviour identical to other children and relate to their environment in exactly the same way.

My period has come, is it worth trying again?

Repeating treatment represents a new chance of getting pregnant. Yes, it is worth trying again as long as the specialist treating you considers it suitable.

Can single women or same sex couples access assisted reproduction treatment?

The law allows single women and lesbian couples to access these techniques. At our centre we offer and carry out these techniques in both cases.

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