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Assisted reproductive technology (ART)

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) describes several different medical procedures that can help you 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. Some of the fertilized eggs (zygotes) are then transferred to the uterus.

Other types of assisted reproductive technologies include:

  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This is the injection of a single sperm into an egg. It can be used during IVF to help fertilize an egg. The fertilized egg is then placed in the uterus or fallopian tube.
  • Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT). It involves collecting eggs from the ovaries, then placing them into a thin flexible tube with the sperm. This is then injected into the fallopian tubes, where fertilization takes place.
  • Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT). Eggs and sperm are mixed outside of the body using IVF methods. The fertilized eggs (zygotes) are then returned to the fallopian tubes, through which they travel to the uterus.

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