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Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

Learn about assisted reproductive technology (ART) in this Howcast video about infertility.


A common term used in infertility is assisted reproductive technology, or ART. ART by definition, refers to any treatment in which the removal of eggs or sperm, or manipulation of eggs, sperm or embryos occurs outside the body.

Intrauterine inseminations, which a man provides a semen sample for processing prior to injection into the uterus is one example of ART. Egg donation or egg freezing are also methods of ART. In in vitro fertilization, where a woman's eggs are retrieved from her ovaries, inseminated outside the body and fertilized outside the body is also another form of assisted reproductive technology.

One of the more common techniques practiced now is egg freezing or cryopreservation of oocytes. Many women would like to preserve their eggs for future use, either due to the absence of a partner in their lives at the current time, or the desire to move fertility to a later time in their life.

Many women also have issues where they're receiving chemotherapy either for cancers or for rheumatologic disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren's syndrome. These are cases in which the egg supply is being threatened by the medications and the desire to freeze eggs needs to occur before the exposure to toxic medications. So, again, egg freezing, intrauterine insemination, egg donation, insemination and in vitro fertilization are all forms of assisted reproductive technology.

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