Hi-Tech Solutions for Infertility

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Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
If you were to take IVF and GIFT and mix them together, you would get ZIFT. This process starts out like IVF. You will receive hormones to stimulate your egg production, your eggs will then be retrieved and fertilized outside of you. However, when it comes time to transfer the fertilized eggs back to you a few days later, the eggs will be transferred to your fallopian tubes, not your uterus. ZIFT allows doctors to evaluate the fertilization process but not the process where the embryo divides.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) 
This treatment is for couples who have a male factor infertility problem. Also, healthy, fertile women who do not have a male partner but would like a child may choose to use this method. IUI involves taking a sample of your partner's or a donor's sperm and injecting it into your uterus. The injection happens 24 to 36 hours after the increase of hormones that indicate ovulation will occur soon. You will be given blood and urine tests to help determine when your ovulation is approaching.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
This is a procedure that can be used with IVF and is helpful to men who have poor sperm quality. Whether your partner has a low sperm count in his ejaculation or his little guys just can't swim, ICSI can help you out. Even if your partner has no sperm in his ejaculation, ICSI can be performed. This is a relatively new procedure that allows for a single sperm (that's right, just one teeny, tiny sperm) to be injected directly into your egg. To get the sperm, you partner can either provide a sample or, if there is no sperm in his semen, sperm can be removed directly from his testicles. The IVF treatment and procedures are exactly the same for you; the only thing that will be different is that your egg will be injected with one sperm instead of mixed in a petri dish with a full sperm sample.

However, because the eggs are fertilized by sperm that may not be top-notch quality, there is an increased risk of passing on certain genetic conditions to your baby. Additionally, this is quite new technology, so the long-term effects on children conceived through this method have not been properly evaluated. The research that has been done, though, has not indicated any increase in abnormalities.

This can be a very sensitive area, so if you choose this option, proceed with caution. If you cannot carry a child to term due to problems with your uterus, this may be an option for you. However, it is a very expensive option. To put it simply, surrogacy involves taking your egg fertilized by your partner's sperm, your egg fertilized by a donor's sperm, or an egg from another woman fertilized with your partner's sperm and transferring it to the uterus of another woman who will then carry your child to term. The fertilization and transfer is done through IVF.

This option is expensive because you and your partner must pay all the related costs. This includes any fertility treatments, IVF, any costs related to the pregnancy such as doctor's visits, plus a payment for the surrogate (unless the surrogate is someone close to you who has decided to volunteer themselves as a surrogate). When everything is tallied up, the final costs can be in the range of $50,000 or more. In addition to the financial burden, there can also be a number of emotional issues involved in this arrangement. Be sure to think completely and thoroughly about this option before acting. Also, in addition to seeking medical advice, it is a good idea to seek legal advice regarding this issue. In some places, it may even be illegal to pay for the services of a surrogate, so be sure you're up to date on the existing laws regarding surrogacy where you live.


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