What are the different techniques for infertility treatment?

   1. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

IUI is when sperm that have been "washed" and concentrated are placed directly into the uterine cavity on the day the ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized. The hoped-for outcome of intrauterine insemination is for increasing the chance of sperm to swim into the fallopian tubes and fertilize a waiting egg, resulting in pregnancy.

   2. In-vitro Fertilization (IVF)

This technique involves retrieving mature eggs from a woman, fertilizing them with a man's sperm in a dish in a laboratory and transferring the embryos into the uterine cavity three to five days after fertilization.

   3. Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

The procedure involves the direct injection of a single sperm into the egg cytoplasm. This is used for couples with either severe male factor infertility or unexplained failure to fertilize with conventional IVF.

   4. Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) & Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)

The steps involved in GIFT are similar to IVF up to the point of egg retrieval. Egg retrieval is usually performed under general anesthesia, and the eggs and sperm are immediately transferred into a catheter that is used to place the eggs and sperm into the fallopian tube during a laparoscopy. GIFT should only be performed when sperm level is adequate and at least one fallopian tube is open and functional.

ZIFT is a combination of IVF and GIFT: A fertilized egg is transferred into the fallopian tubes. Fertilization takes place in a laboratory, and the zygotes (newly fertilized eggs) are transferred into the fallopian tubes at the time of laparoscopy.

   5. Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) & Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA)

TESE is a common technique to diagnose the cause of azoospermia and obtain sufficient tissue for sperm extraction to be used either fresh or as a cryopreserved (frozen) specimen.

PESA can be completed under local or general anesthesia with the physician inserting a needle attached to a syringe into the epididymis, then gently withdrawing fluid.

   6. Blastocyst culture

Until recently, embryos performed in IVF & ET and ICSI were transferred on day two at the fourth cell stage, but with the availability of newer culture media, embryos can now be grown up to the blastocyst stage in three to five days. This increases the chance of implantation and pregnancy.

   7. Assisted Hatching

Normally the covering of the embryo called Zona breaks inside the womb after transferring the embryo. The embryo then hatches and is implanted inside the womb. Whenever the embryo fails to hatch, the embryo dies and the procedure fails. In this new technique the embryos are hatched by the means of chemicals or injections before they are transferred inside the womb.