Ultrasound in assisted reproductive techniques

Most medical centers that treat infertility with assisted reproductive techniques use ultrasound technology to retrieve eggs. Using ultrasound for instrument guidance in assisted reproductive techniques has advantages over the traditional use of laparoscopy.

Advantages of ultrasound over laparoscopy include:

  • Less trauma.
  • No need for general anesthetic, which can cause complications.
  • Less expensive.
  • Does not require gas to expand the abdomen so the doctor can see.
  • Less invasive (especially important when several cycles of treatment are required).

Disadvantages of using ultrasound for guidance include:

  • Inability to stabilize freely mobile ovaries.
  • Less diagnostic information can be obtained.
  • Cannot be used for gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), the transfer of eggs and sperm into the fallopian tube through a small abdominal incision.
  • Less likely that complications such as internal bleeding will be detected.

Last Updated: March 21, 2008

Author: Bets Davis, MFA & Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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