Diagnosing and Treating Infertility

Methods used to achieve pregnancy by wholly or partially artificial means is known as Assistive Reproductive Technology or ART, and is used in infertility treatment. While the definition of the term is by no means exact, it is generally taken to be any method, which does not resort to the process of intercourse and uses insemination such as IUI or fertilization of the egg in the laboratory i.e. in IVF. One definition of ART, that of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled. The definition also specifies that procedures generally involves surgically removing the eggs from the ovary, combining them with sperm in the laboratory and then inserting them into the woman’s, or another woman’s body. It also specifies that procedures do not include where only the eggs or the sperm are handled, or where a woman takes medication only to stimulate egg production with no intentions of having them retrieved. The various methods are as follows.
Diagnosing and Treating Infertility
Medical procedures
Manual procedures In this category fall all the different methods that ART includes such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and derivatives of IVF such as OCR, AZH, ICSI, ZIFT, as well as other methods, which are not dependent on IVF.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a technique where fertilization of the sperm and the egg is induced outside the female body.
The following procedures are extensions of IVF.

Transvaginal Ovum Retrieval (OCR), Assisted Zona Hatching (AZH),Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Autologous Endometrial Coculture Zygote Itrafallopian Transfer, Egg Donor, Gestational Carrier, Cryopreservation, Complementary or Alternative Medicine.

The following Assisted Reproduction methods do not always involve IVF.
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT), Preimplementation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), Artificial Insemination, Therapeutic Donor Insemination, Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR), Tuboplasty, Frozen Embryo Transfer

Diagnosing and Treating InfertilityMind/Body Medicine
Risks : Though most of the children conceived by IVF are free of birth defects, some studies have suggested that ART is associated with an increased risk of birth defects.
Costs : In the United States, insurance coverage for fertility investigations and treatment are not had by everyone, although some states have started to make it mandatory. It has been found that in such states the utilization of the coverage is 227% higher than in the other states. There are also some insurance companies, which cover diagnoses of infertility but not the costs of treatment.

In the UK the free preliminary testing is available to all, and covered by the National Health Service. Treatment however is not always available on the NHS and waiting lists are long. As a result, most patients opt for treatment in private clinics.
In Sweden, official fertility clinics charge normal fees for most of the necessary treatments, such as Cryopreservation of semen, artificial insemination and egg donor. Unfortunately, there are long waiting lists, in most cases, as otherwise the health care system would be over-burdened. Therefore, private fertility clinics also exist. As may be expected, however, theses clinics charge very highly.

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