Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

In the journey towards parenthood, many individuals and couples encounter obstacles that can make natural conception challenging.

ART encompasses all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled. These techniques involve procedures that remove eggs from a woman’s body, combine them with sperm to create embryos, and then return them to the woman’s body or donate them to another woman, enabling individuals and couples to conceive.

Dr Genia Rozen specialises in the latest ART methods, tailoring treatment plans to each patient’s unique situation, always with the goal of maximising success rates and ensuring the health and well-being of both parents and children.

Types of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

The most common and effective types of ART include In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), among others.

These technologies are the cornerstone of infertility treatment, offering hope where natural conception is challenging or impossible.

Choosing to pursue ART is a significant decision that involves careful consideration and planning. The first step is a comprehensive fertility evaluation to determine the most suitable treatment option. Following this, a tailored treatment plan is developed, which takes into account factors such as the cause of infertility, age, and personal preferences.

IVF is the most widely known and utilised form of ART. It involves stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, retrieving these eggs, and fertilising them with sperm in a lab. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the uterus, with the aim of achieving a successful pregnancy.

  • Success Rates: The success of IVF depends on various factors, including age, cause of infertility, and embryo quality. According to recent statistics, the average live birth rate per IVF cycle is approximately 40% for women under 35, decreasing to 4% for women over 42.

IUI is a popular assisted reproductive technology that involves directly placing sperm into a woman’s uterus around the time of ovulation. This method aims to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes to enhance the chance of fertilisation. IUI is often used for mild male factor infertility, unexplained infertility, or cervical mucus issues.

  • Success rates vary widely based on factors such as age, fertility diagnosis, and whether fertility drugs are used. Generally, the success rate per IUI cycle ranges from 10% to 20% for women under 35 and decreases with age. Multiple cycles can increase the cumulative chance of pregnancy, with some studies suggesting a success rate of up to 20% after three cycles for couples with unexplained infertility.

ICSI is often used in cases of severe male infertility. This procedure involves directly injecting a single sperm into an egg to facilitate fertilisation. ICSI can significantly increase the chances of fertilisation, especially when sperm count, or motility is an issue.

  • Success Rates: ICSI shares similar success rates with conventional IVF, with the added benefit of overcoming specific male fertility issues. The use of ICSI has been shown to achieve fertilisation rates of 50-80%.

For individuals or couples who cannot use their own eggs or sperm, donated eggs or sperm offer an alternative path to parenthood. This process involves using donor gametes in the ART process, either through IVF or ICSI.

  • Success Rates: The success rates for IVF using donor eggs are generally higher than those using the recipient’s own eggs, especially for women over the age of 40. The live birth rate per embryo transfer with donor eggs can exceed 50%.

FET involves freezing and storing embryos from a previous IVF cycle for future use. This option can be particularly appealing for those wishing to attempt multiple pregnancies or who prefer to delay pregnancy for personal or medical reasons.

  • Success Rates: FET has been shown to have success rates comparable to, or in some cases higher than, fresh embryo transfers. The live birth rate per transfer can range from 20% to 40%, varying with maternal age and embryo quality.

Gestational surrogacy offers an option for individuals or couples who are unable to carry a pregnancy to term. It involves creating an embryo through IVF and transferring it into the uterus of a surrogate carrier.

  • Success Rates: Success rates for gestational surrogacy vary widely, depending on the age of the egg donor (if used) and the surrogate’s ability to carry a pregnancy. Generally, success rates are comparable to those of traditional IVF procedures.

Preimplantation Genetic Testing

Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) represents a groundbreaking advancement in the field of reproductive medicine, offering prospective parents the opportunity to assess the genetic health of embryos before implantation during an IVF cycle. This innovative technology is divided into three main types: PGT-A (aneuploidy), PGT-M (monogenic/single gene disorders), and PGT-SR (structural rearrangements).
PGT-A allows for the identification of embryos with the correct number of chromosomes, thereby increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy and reducing the risk of miscarriage or chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. PGT-M is used when there is a known risk of passing on inherited genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease, enabling couples to avoid transmitting these disorders to their offspring. PGT-SR is applied in cases of chromosomal structural rearrangements, ensuring embryos selected for transfer are unaffected by these anomalies.
The process involves extracting one or more cells from an embryo in the early stages of development for detailed genetic analysis. While PGT can significantly increase the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy, it’s important to consider ethical considerations, potential risks, and the emotional impact. Nonetheless, PGT offers invaluable insights for many, guiding clinical decisions and providing peace of mind to those with concerns about genetic disorders.

Dr Rozen has access to PGT via Genea – the fertility laboratory service that she is affiliated with – who have been performing chromosomal screening of embryos since 1996! Genea is one of the few services in Australia to have both IVF and genetic facilities onsite.

Dr Rozen’s Approach to ART

The field of ART is continually evolving, with research and technological advancements improving success rates and treatment options. Innovations such as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) and advancements in embryo culture techniques are making ART more efficient and accessible.

Dr Genia Rozen has significant practical experience performing ART, having been providing the service for 10+ years. She offers a highly personalised, evidence-based approach, which relies on thorough diagnostic testing of both partners to identify any underlying cause of infertility, so that the ART technology that is adopted ultimately offers the greatest probability of success. Dr Rozen combines advanced medical technology with a deep understanding of the emotional and physical challenges faced by those struggling with infertility, to provide an empathetic holistic service. Her approach to ART can be summarised as follows:

  • Personalised Care: Tailoring treatment plans to meet the specific needs and circumstances of each patient, based on the most thorough and comprehensive diagnostic testing attainable.
  • Cutting-Edge Technology: Utilising industry leader Genea’s advancements technology and laboratory services in ART to improve success rates and patient outcomes.
  • Comprehensive Support: Offering emotional and psychological support throughout the ART process, recognising the journey’s complexities and the anxiety couples face.

Get in touch with our friendly team.

Dr Genia Rozen is a Melbourne gynaecologist and fertility specialist with 10+ years of experience dedicated to fertility medicine.

She holds a Masters of Reproductive Medicine (MRMED) degree and undertook three years of sub-specialising training in Fertility and Reproductive Medicine at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. She is affiliated with Genea Fertility who are recognised leaders in advanced reproductive laboratory services.

Please get in touch if you have a question or wish to book an appointment.