Assisted Reproductive Technology is the general term used for fertility treatments where a reproductive medicine specialist is required to help in the fertilisation of the wife’s eggs. The most commonly known assisted reproductive technology is IVF (in vitro fertilisation). Other procedures used in assisted reproductive technology include:
ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) – ICSI is a highly specialized laboratory procedure developed to help infertile couples due to male factor infertility where there are abnormalities in the number, quality, or function of the sperm. The term ‘Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection” refers to the direct injection of a single sperm into a mature egg of the female. Today, this is the method of choice except in cases where the egg quality of the female is extremely poor.
PESA (Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration) – This is a non-invasive method of sperm recovery and has excellent potential for patients who have had a vasectomy and do not wish to undergo reversal, or patients who have had an attempted reversal which has failed. In percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration sperm are aspirated through a fine needle that is placed into the epididymis.
TESA (Testicular Sperm Aspiration) – This is a surgical sperm retrieval procedure used in fertility treatment for men who have no sperm in their ejaculate. The extraction of sperm is achieved through a fine needle inserted into the testes. Where this is not successful, then a microsurgical testicular biopsy is done.
AH (Assisted Hatching) – The assisted hatching procedure involves thinning or making a small hole in the shell that surrounds the embryo (a protective layer) to improve implantation rate.
Embryo Transfer – This is the placement of embryos into the uterus using a fine catheter.