In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the technique of letting fertilization of the male and female gametes (sperm and egg) occur outside the female body.Techniques usually used in in vitro fertilization include:
Transvaginal ovum retrieval (OCR) is the process whereby a small needle is inserted through the back of the vagina and guided via ultrasound into the ovarian follicles to collect the fluid that contains the eggs.
Embryo transfer is the step in the process whereby one or several embryos are placed into the uterus of the female with the intent to establish a pregnancy.
Artificial insemination (AI) is when sperm is placed into a female's uterus (intrauterine) or cervix (intracervical) using artificial means rather than by natural copulation.
The majority of IVF-conceived infants do not have birth defects.However, some studies have suggested that assisted reproductive technology is associated with an increased risk of birth defects.
The main risks are:
Genetic disorders. DNA damage increases in e.g. IVF and ICSI
Low birth weight.
Preterm birth. Low birth weight and preterm birth are strongly associated with many health problems, such as visual impairment and cerebral palsy, and children born after IVF are roughly twice as likely to have cerebral palsy.