Infertility and Assisted Reproduction Technologies

Essay by vaughan0 April 2004

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"Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive pregnancy after a year of unprotected sexual relation or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term." Becoming aware that having children will be difficult is a distressing event with a long-term impact on every infertile couple's relationship. An infertile person, it is likely to lose self-confidence, feel self-blame and guilty.

There are several causes to infertility. These would include: Tubal damage, due to past sexually transmitted infections/diseases or previous surgery; Sexually transmitted diseases, and early miscarriage; Lifestyle: poor diet, smoking, alcohol, weight problem; Psychological reasons; Stress; Sexually transmitted diseases cause a blockage of the ducts in the testes and affect sperm reproduction; Lifestyle: smoking, alcohol affect the development, density, morphology and motility of sperm.

About 40% of the time, the inability to get pregnant is due to male problems, such as hormone deficiency, the effects of a sexually transmitted disease, or decreased/low sperm count.

Sperm count can be greatly affected by the constant use of marijuana, or certain prescription drugs. Not to leave out the females, they account for the other 40% of couples not able to get pregnant. Also, from sexually transmitted diseases, hormone imbalance, even poor nutrition. Either both partners may cause the remaining 20%, or no cause can be identified.

In the past thirty years, science has rapidly contributed to the progress of helping infertile couples. Many techniques have been discovered in order to solve the infertility problem and to meet the human need and demand. The field of ARTs (Assisted Reproduction Technologies) has expanded steadily since the birth of Louis Brown- the first test tube baby - in 1978. In this essay, only techniques, which are commonly used will be introduced. Other techniques may have been newly discovered by different authorities and organizations but they are not...