Assisted Reproductive Technology Essay

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Assisted Reproductive Technology

Reproduction is the ability of a species to perpetuate and in the human species it is looked upon as a right in today's society. Males and females alike feel pressure that in order to be fully male or fully female they must procreate (Conrad, 1997). While this is not true of all men and women, for many married couples the ability to have children is important. It is only recently that infertile couples have been provided with options that would allow them to conceive a child. These options include the various forms of reproductive technology that have been developed over the past 20-25 years. While these technological advances have brought joy and hope to many infertile couples, the advances have also
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Causes of Infertility

The main cause of male infertility is oligospermia, which is too few sperm in semen to give a high probability of fertilization (Austin, 1989). Other reasons include poor sperm quality, low sperm motility, blocked vas deferens or epididymis, or azoospermic, which is the lack of sperm in semen (Infertility, 1999). Sperm quality deteriorates with age but its rate of change is not as quick as egg quality deterioration in women.

Causes of infertility in women cover a wider range of possibilities. Poor egg quality, irregular ovulation, and blocked fallopian tubes are the most common causes. Reasons for blocked fallopian tubes include infections, endometriosis, scar tissue, and damaged fimbria (Infertility, 1999). This is important because even if a woman is able to ovulate regularly, the egg is unable to enter the uterus which makes is impossible for the sperm to come in contact with the egg (Infertility, 1999). Less common causes include polycystic ovaries, primary and secondary amenorrhea, which is when menstruation never started or ceased respectively, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), hostile cervical mucus, and damaged or missing reproductive organs (Austin, 1989). Cancer therapy, repeated abortions, and miscarriages have also been found to increase the chance of infertility (Infertility Tests, 1996). However, with the variety of different causes
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