For many Intended Parents undergoing new family creation, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are part of the journey. While these medical procedures might seem complex, Omega Family Global strives to ease the process for intended parents by providing educational material for complete understanding. Omega Family Global’s goal is that all clients are put at ease and they fully understand the procedures involved in creating their new family.
In this section of our site we provide educational material on Assisted Reproductive Technologies. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
Prior to using assisted reproductive technologies, intended parents will likely have been through less invasive and less costly fertility treatments and procedures. More information on these fertility treatments can be accessed in the section entitled Infertility Information.
This section of the site provides medical information to intended parents about assisted reproductive technologies. Other sections of this site address the legal aspects of assisted reproductive technologies and pre-assisted reproductive technologies matters. Omega Family Global presents balanced medical, legal, and social information about assisted reproductive technologies. Omega Family Global strives to have clients fully knowledgable about their new family creation journey.
ART Definitions, Terms, and Procedures
There are several definitions of ART. Omega Family Global uses the one defined by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC defines ART as all fertility treatments managing both eggs and sperm.* In general, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and placing them to the woman’s uterus or donating them to another woman. The definition of ART does not include procedures in which a woman takes medicine (hormone treatments) to stimulate egg production or where artificial insemination is used.
ART includes the following procedures: in vitro fertilization (IVF), embryo transfer (ET), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), and frozen embryo transfer (FET). These procedures all entail fertilizing eggs with sperm in the laboratory (in vitro fertilization) and placing the embryo into the woman. The difference in the terminology is largely due to the stage of the developing embryo when it is placed into the woman or the method used to place the embryo.
The term ART also applies to egg (oocyte) donation and gestational carriers. The great majority (about 99%) of ART procedures are in vitro fertilization followed by embryo transfer. Fertility physicians may recommend ART when other treatments (such as intrauterine insemination) have failed, or when there is severe male factor infertility or severe endometriosis or tubal obstruction in the woman.
ART procedures also encompass third-party reproduction. As the name indicates, third-party reproduction involves use of eggs, sperm, or an embryo donated by somebody other than an Intended Parent. The egg, sperm, or embryo donor may be known or anonymous to the Intended Parent(s). Surrogacy and gestational carrier arrangements also fall under the term third-party reproduction. More information on these types of surrogates or gestational carriers can be accessed through the following link.
Third-party reproduction and ART are more complex processes than infertility treatments. These fertility processes demand greater consideration of social, ethical, and legal issues. Legal matters come into greater issue when third parties are involved in the family creation process. The medical community (reproductive, fertility medicine specialties) as well as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM www.asrm.org) have accepted the use of ART. OFG advises all Intended Parents to have a legal consultation before embarking on use of any ART or third-party reproduction.
ART or Third-Party Reproduction, Oversight, and Regulation
In the United States fertility clinics and physicians performing ART technologies are guided by ASRM, who periodically convene expert panels and publish guidelines. Federal law enacted by The United States Congress in 1992 mandates the regulation of ART and medical clinics performing ART services. The federal law dictates that clinics performing ART annually provide data for all procedures performed to the CDC. The congressional act also sets forth definitions and reporting requirements of fertility clinics to the CDC. In turn the CDC is required to use these data to report and publish clinic-specific success rates and certification of embryo laboratories. These success rates are monitored by OFG and partially used in OFG recommendations regarding which clinic intended parents might use. The CDC data can be accessed through the following link: Link to page on ASRM/CDC rates.
This data (success rates) are available to the public and provide Intended Parents some idea of the success rate they might expect when embarking on an ART procedure. The use of ART is widespread and resolves infertility in many Intended Parents. However, the CDC monitors ART on an ongoing basis because it is perceived to present a public health challenge due to the substantial risk for multiple birth delivery. Multiple birth delivery rates are going down over the years, but in such occurrences, maternal and infant health hazards may occur.
Third party reproduction or ART can be divided into three main aspects: sperm donation, egg donation, and surrogacy. For more detailed information on egg donation, sperm donation, or surrogacy please click on the hotlink for each topic.
* The definition of ART is based upon the US congressional act of 1992 entitled Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act. (http://uscode.house.gov/statutes/1992/1992-102-0493.pdf)