Pennsylvania Basics: Assisted Reproductive Technology 101

Many couples in Pennsylvania grow their families through the use of assisted reproductive technology, or ART for short. There’s no right or wrong way to build a family and many people are curious about ART. So, what is assisted reproductive technology?

Maybe you’ve read or heard a little about ART but got confused with all the medical language and acronyms you came across. Let’s start from the beginning with the very broad basics.

Assisted Reproductive Technology, or ART is used to define a category of medical treatments and procedures designed to achieve pregnancy. Examples of the most popular types of ART available include fertility medications, surrogacy, and in vitro fertilization.

Usually one of the first treatments used by any couple in Pennsylvania who is having difficulty conceiving are fertility medications. These medications are used to help women who either do not ovulate or do so irregularly. (A woman ovulates when one of her eggs is released from the ovary.) Ensuring a woman ovulates regularly can increase the chances of becoming pregnant. Sometimes these same medications can also be used in conjunction with other forms of ART.

There are different kinds of surrogacy but at its most basic surrogacy allows for another woman to become pregnant and to carry and birth a child for the person or persons who will then become the child’s parents. The woman who carries the child is known as the surrogate.

In vitro fertilization, or IVF is a procedure where a woman’s egg is fertilized by sperm outside of the woman’s body. The egg or ovum is removed from the woman’s ovaries and incubated with the man’s sperm under laboratory conditions that encourage fertilization. Once fertilization occurs the zygote (that is a fertilized egg) can then be placed inside the same woman’s body or in the womb of a surrogate.

These are the basics of the most popular ARTs used in Pennsylvania. The number of ART procedures performed in this state every year continues to grow! Review our website and blog pages for additional information regarding IVF, surrogacy, and ART. If you’re considering surrogacy or have begun the process you’ll want to know your rights and legal obligations. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today. We specialize and practice in family law throughout Western Pennsylvania.

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