in vitro fertilization (IVF). Photo credit ZEISS Microscopy.

ART is an acronym for "Assisted Reproductive Technology"


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART):

includes all fertility treatments in which either eggs or embryos are handled. In general, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman. They do NOT include treatments in which only sperm are handled (i.e., intrauterine—or artificial—insemination) or procedures in which a woman takes medicine only to stimulate egg production without the intention of having eggs retrieved.1


ART includes:

• In vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET). Approximately 99 percent of ART cycles performed are IVF-ET.
• Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT).
• Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT).
• Frozen embryo transfer (FET).
• These techniques also apply to oocyte donation and gestational carriers.2
• Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).3


According to the Mayo Clinic the term "cycle" in the context of IVF is as follows: "During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs (embryos) are transferred to a uterus. One full cycle of IVF takes about three weeks. Sometimes these steps are split into different parts and the process can take longer."


Some things you may not know about ART:

• The average cost of an IVF cycle in the United States it $12,500.
• The average cost of drugs per cycle used by women undergoing IVF is $5,000.
• The average cost of a donor egg cycle is $30,000.
• Egg donors are paid anywhere between $5,000 and $100,000 or more depending on private contract negotiations.
• Surrogacy ranges on average between $75,000 and 200,000 or more depending on private contract negotiations.
• The average cost for a woman to freeze her eggs with an unproven technique known as vitrification (flash freezing) is between $10,000 and $22,000.4

In addition, as of 2013, assisted reproductive technology (ART) contributed to 1.6% of births in the United States.5


Issues with ART:

Problems with IVF from the perspective of someone who went through the treatment.
The Untold Stories of IVF



References:
1. CDC - Assisted Reproductive Technolgy (ART)
2. Miriam Zoll. Fertility Facts.
3. Yue-hong LU et al, Long-term follow-up of children conceived through assited reproductive technology, Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE B (Biomedicine & Biotechnology) 2013 14(5):359-371.
4. Miriam Zoll. Fertility Facts.
5. Contribution of Assisted Reproductive Technology to Overall Births by Maternal Age in the United States, 2012-2014, JAMA March 28, 2017 Volume 317, Number 12.