Assisted Reproductive Technology Essay

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Assisted Reproductive Technology

In the United States in the year 2001, 40687 babies were born as a result of 107587 assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures (Wright,, 2004). It has been estimated that one in six couples in the United States experiences some difficulty conceiving a child, and that 8.5% of married couples (2.3 million couples) in the U.S. are, in fact, infertile (Kilner,, 2000; Wekesser,, 1996). Assisted reproductive technology is becoming more widely available and efficient. In The Reproductive Revolution, it is stated that “considering the various configurations and technologies, there are at least thirty-eight ways to ‘make a baby’ today” (Kilner,, 2000). But along with these
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This procedure can be done with eggs harvested from the recipient or from an oocyte donor. In the case of more severe sperm abnormalities, a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be used to inject a single sperm directly into the egg. (Wekesser,, 1996)


Depending on the localization of the infertility problem, two other techniques may be used rather than IVF. ZIFT, zygote intrafallopian transfer, involves placing the fertilized egg into one of the woman’s fallopian tubes rather than into the uterus. GIFT, gamete intrafallopian transfer, entails placing the sperm and egg into the fallopian tube, which will be followed by fertilization and implantation in the uterus. (Wekesser,, 1996)

Surrogate Motherhood

With surrogate motherhood, a woman agrees to gestate a child for a couple that for some reason is unable to do so, in exchange for monetary compensation. In the past, the surrogate was artificially inseminated with the sperm of the male partner, so the child was genetically her own. With the invention of IVF, it has become possible to use an egg from the female of the couple or from an oocyte donor. In some cases, the surrogate mother is actually a close friend or family member who has volunteered to carry the child.

Procedures and Policies at Oocyte Donation Centers

The University of Washington Medical Center’s

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