How have fertility treatments improved in the past 20 years?

Jennifer Lahl
Pediatric Nursing Specialist

Nursing and bioethics expert Jennifer Lahl discusses what women should know about advances in reproductive technology. Watch Jennifer Lahl's video for tips and information on women's health.

Dr. John K. Jain, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Over the past 20 years fertility treatments and technology has changed greatly. For the fertility specialist, improvements in ultrasound technology has allowed more accurate views of developing egg follicles and the ability to assess the uterus with a high degree of accuracy. The laboratory environment and the media used to grow embryos (culture) have greatly improved thus allowing better growth of embryos in the lab through the fifth day of development.

A revolution in the treatment of male infertility occurred with the development of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), a technique whereby a single sperm is injected directly into an egg, using a fine glass needle. Prior to ICSI, men with very low sperm counts often had to resort to the use of donor sperm. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is another technological advancement that allowes testing of embryos before implantation, in order  to detect those with genetic or chromosomal abnormalities. Another recent and valuable advancement occurred in the area of fertility preservation whereby eggs could be frozen unfertilized for indefinite periods of time. Egg freezing has become a viable alternative to freezing embryos.

Continue Learning about Infertility

Can Fast Food Affect Your Fertility?
Can Fast Food Affect Your Fertility?
Sometimes fast is good: Ashley Henderson, 22, of San Diego State recently ran the 100-meter dash in 10.98, making her the fastest woman on the planet ...
Read More
How can sexually transmitted diseases affect a woman's fertility?
While some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) don't cause symptoms at first, if left untreated the...
More Answers
Infertility Intervention
Infertility InterventionInfertility InterventionInfertility InterventionInfertility Intervention
Find out if you’re having infertility problems with this guide.
Start Slideshow
Which Foods Help Boost Fertility?
Which Foods Help Boost Fertility?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.