Time and again, technology has proven to be one of the driving forces behind the augmentation of human intelligence. Over time, the world has witnessed several emerging technologies that encompassed numerous existing technologies. Technology remains a highly demanded necessity in practically every industry you can think of. It is either employed to solve a problem or help both individuals and industries to be more innovative, efficient, and highly productive.
The term "Reproductive Technology" might be new to many but to some, it is just a thing that the advancement of technology has gifted the world with. What comes to your mind when you think of the term "Reproductive Technology"? Reproduction using technology? Reproducing with a particular kind of technological innovation? Well, in this article, you will find answers to all your questions about reproductive technology and more.
What Is Reproductive Technology?
Reproductive technology is an exceptional innovation of technology in the health sector that is poised to effectively solve the rising problem of infertility amongst individuals in their reproductive years. Some decades ago, no one would have thought that the advancement of technology would ascend a frontier where it will be employed for the purpose of giving rise to a new individual.
Simply put, reproductive technology is a medical procedure designed to help affected individuals put a cap on infertility, and have children. The procedure could include artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), embryo adoption, and surrogacy. This emerging technology has placed a stamp of relevance in the health sector since the first birth through reproductive technology was recorded in 1978. Medical practitioners across the globe have trust in the aforementioned procedures in solving infertility problems. Thanks to cutting-edge technology.
How Does Assisted Reproductive Technology Work?
The concept of reproductive technology is somewhat simple. It simply involves combining the male's sperm and the female's eggs to birth a new life without any sexual activity or body contact between the intending parents, or individuals attempting pregnancy without a partner. The most commonly used procedure involves the eggs being removed from the woman's ovaries and are then fertilized with the donated sperm to make embryos. The embryos are then put back into the woman's body for further development.
Types Of Assisted Reproductive Technologies
The most common type of assisted reproductive technology is In vitro fertilization (IVF) but it might interest you that it is far from the only option available. Other options less common than In vitro fertilization include intrauterine insemination, zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIT), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ISI).
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is considered the primary and most effective procedure in reproductive technology to make pregnancy likely. It is a relatively novel technology that has been trusted for over three decades by doctors, boasting a success rate of 15-25% per cycle. During a cycle, IVF involves the removal of eggs from the woman to be fertilized with sperm. The fertilized eggs are stored in a petri dish for several days to grow into an embryo after which the doctor implants the growing embryo into the woman's uterus.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
This procedure involves fertilizing the eggs inside a woman's body with no penetrative sex. Although it has a relatively low success rate when compared to IVF, it is a more affordable option for individuals on a budget. IUI is mostly chosen by women with no partners trying to have babies, couples with tricky infertility problems, and when a man's sperm has low motility which makes it difficult to get to the eggs for fertilization. This procedure is quite simple. The sperm is implanted into the woman and fertilization and conception take place from there. Most women try to increase the efficiency of IUI by taking fertility drugs before the procedure. It increases the chances of success with Intrauterine insemination.
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIT)
Just as the name suggests, this procedure is mostly used by women who have issues with their fallopian tubes. An intrafallopian transfer fertilizes the eggs inside the woman's fallopian tube. It remains a good option for couples with unexplained fertility problems or sperm motility issues or women with blocked fallopian tubes. A zygote intrafallopian transfer is a lot similar to In vitro fertilization (IVF) but unlike IVF, the embryos are planted in the woman's fallopian tube. Typically, a woman takes fertility drugs before the cycle.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ISI)
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a type of assisted reproductive technology common in cases where a man has severe sperm issues. ISI removes one or more eggs from a woman's body after which the mature egg is injected with a sperm cell. When the eggs develop normally, they are then deposited back into the woman's body. ISI is trusted by doctors who need to make pregnancy likely where a man's sperm cannot fertilize the eggs on its own. For instance, in cases where the man has very low sperm motility or very few healthy sperm, ISI is employed. Other times, a man could have a normal sperm count with healthy sperm and morphology, but DNA damage could result in infertility and increase the risk of an early miscarriage. But, ISI makes it possible for the doctor to select the healthiest sperm for fertilization. As with other assisted reproductive technology, a woman takes fertility drugs to boost egg formation and to make her cycle normal before the ISI implantation.
On a final note
The concept of assisted reproductive technology has revolutionized the world of fertility. However, it is not the only option available for couples battling infertility problems. Proper and consistent medications are also available to curb infertility-related issues but reproductive technology, especially IVF, has exponentially increased the possibilities of pregnancy where other fertility treatments fail. After going through a range of fertility treatments, reproductive technology offers a lasting solution to infertility.
Reproductive technology has brought a drastic change to our lives. Individuals can have overall control over the time of conception. And just like every other technological innovation the world has witnessed, assisted reproductive technology has brought a revolution to the world of fertility. Over the next few years, this revolution could solve over 50% of the world's infertility problems.
Thank you for reading.