Assisted reproductive technology (ART) describes several different
medical procedures that help a woman become pregnant. The most common type of
ART is in vitro fertilization (IVF); during IVF, eggs and sperm are mixed in a
laboratory dish to fertilize, and some of the fertilized eggs (zygotes) are
then transferred to the woman's uterus.
Other types of assisted reproductive technologies include:
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), the
injection of a single sperm into an egg. The fertilized egg is then placed in
the woman's uterus or fallopian tube. Used with in vitro fertilization, ICSI is
often a successful treatment for men with impaired sperm.
intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), which involves collecting eggs from the
ovaries, then placing them into a thin flexible tube with the sperm. This is
then injected into the woman's fallopian tubes, where fertilization takes
Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), which combines IVF
and GIFT. Eggs and sperm are mixed outside of the body. The fertilized eggs
(zygotes) are then returned to the fallopian tubes, through which they travel
to the uterus.