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Understanding the Mechanics of Assisted Reproductive Treatments

Friday, March 1st 2024 10:00am 6 min read
Dr. Natalia Subirats Duran dr.nataliasubirats

Licensed medical doctor and naturopathic doctor specializing in fertility, endometriosis and more. Hablo español!

There is an increase in assisted reproductive treatments in our current society. And while it is always preferable to change lifestyle and restore balanced hormonal health; for many couples, even with all the “right” changes, it can be difficult to achieve pregnancy. 

That’s why I have thought it is important to explain what assisted reproductive techniques consist of, as well as options like Mini IVF. There are highly viable alternatives that are seldom explained but can be very useful in many cases to avoid excessive and possibly unnecessary treatments for many women.

This article aims to explore the various assisted reproductive treatments, their underlying mechanisms, and how they work to assist couples in their journey to parenthood.

Overview of Assisted Reproductive Treatments

Assisted reproductive treatments (ART) encompass a range of medical procedures designed to overcome fertility challenges. Common ART techniques include in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Each of these treatments addresses different aspects of infertility and offers viable solutions for couples striving to conceive.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

  • Stimulation of Ovaries: The process begins with stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs using fertility medications.
  • Egg Retrieval: Once the eggs reach maturity, they are retrieved from the ovaries using a minor surgical procedure.
  • Fertilization: In the laboratory, the retrieved eggs are combined with sperm to facilitate fertilization.
  • Embryo Culture: Fertilized eggs develop into embryos, which are cultured for a few days.
  • Embryo Transfer: The healthiest embryos are selected and transferred into the woman’s uterus, with the hope of implantation.
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI):
  • Ovulation Stimulation: Fertility drugs may be administered to stimulate the ovaries and enhance egg production.
  • Sperm Washing: The sperm is processed to isolate healthy, motile sperm from seminal fluid.
  • Insemination: Concentrated sperm is then directly introduced into the uterus around the time of ovulation, increasing the chances of fertilization.
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI):
  • Sperm Injection: ICSI involves the direct injection of a single sperm into a mature egg.
  • Fertilization Check: The fertilized egg is monitored for successful development into an embryo.
  • Embryo Transfer: Similar to IVF, the healthiest embryos are chosen for transfer into the uterus.


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