The success and availability of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) have brought hope to many couples who previously have been unable to conceive. But procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) are not for everyone. For one thing, the daily hormone injections and frequent monitoring with blood tests and ultrasounds can be stressful for a woman. Second, the procedures themselves can be expensive, costing upwards of $10,000 for an IVF cycle. Third, some clinics only accept women into their early 40s or have other program restrictions.
Still, since 1981 -- when the first American baby was conceived successfully through IVF -- many couples have been willing to undergo the stress and take the risks of attempting an ART procedure. How do you know if this option is right for you? Here is some information to help you decide.