Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

ART, Assisted Reproductive Technology

Are you having Infertility problems and facing the possibility of an ART procedure?

Assisted Reproductive Technology is defined as "all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled."

So, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, introducing sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman.

Assisted Reproductive Technology would not include procedures in which only the woman was treated--or in which only the male was treated.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) was first used in the U.S. in 1981 to assist women who could not otherwise attain pregnancy. The most common ART procedure is the transfer of fertilized human eggs into a woman’s uterus (in vitro fertilization).

Because these treatments are very expensive, time consuming, and sometimes traumatic or emotional, the decision to proceed is often difficult.

If you have not had an evaluation by a Naturopathic Physician, you may be surprised to learn that there are some all-natural infertility treatments that work!

Educate yourself before making big decisions about difficult and costly procedures. It isn't that I don't believe in these procedures. I see them as a last resort.

Listed here are the various ART procedures and links to more lengthy definitions and other resources. IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a procedure which uses artificial means to place sperm in the womb of a woman with the hope and intention of it resulting in pregnancy.

IVF (In vitro fertilization) is a procedure in which the woman's egg and the man's sperm are combined and allowed to fertilize outside of the woman's body. If the egg and sperm develop into an embryo, the embryo is placed back into the uterus with the hope of producing a viable pregnancy. Sometimes extra embryos develop. Those can be frozen for later use.

GIFT (Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer) is a procedure in which a woman's egg and a man's sperm are inserted into the fallopian tube of a woman. The idea is to give both a head start and to encourage natural fertilization within the body.

ZIFT (zygote intrafallopian transfer)is very similar to GIFT except that the egg and sperm are fertilized outside of the woman's body before insertion into the fallopian tubes.

ICSI ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) is a very successful procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into a woman's egg--outside of her body--and then inserted into her uterus.

FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) Is a procedure in which an embryo that has been frozen is thawed and then transferred to the uterus of a woman.

Infertile? Get help from Doctors who care.

Here is a link to a great book written by a doctor who's been through it herself. You will love the real-life stories about couples just like you. Creating Life Against the Odds: The Journey from Infertility to Parenthood

For the definitive textbook on Assisted Reproductive Technology, this book is a great addition to your library: Textbook of Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Laboratory and Clinical Perspectives, Third Edition (Reproductive Medicine and Asst. Reproduction). It is pricey, but covers everything from a clinical perspective.

Dr. Christine Strong, NMD

If you would like a phone consultation, contact me at

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