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Region: England, Wales and Northern Ireland


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Issues: Fertility Treatments

What are the main types?

The word 'fertility' relates to producing children. Infertility is being unable to conceive a child by natural means. Sometimes the man can't produce sperm, not enough sperm or his sperm is not of a good enough quality to fertilise the egg.

Sometimes the woman doesn't produce ova (eggs), or her fallopian tubes are blocked and the ova can't get to the uterus. In the past, like today, there were couples who were unable to have children by natural means and so they never became parents.

Today, the situation is very different. Science and medicine have moved to a more hopeful position, where infertile couples can often be given assistance to conceive and have babies.

Fertility Treatments

There are six main types of fertility treatments:

  • IVF (In vitro fertilisation)
  • Egg donation
  • AIH (artificial donation by husband)
  • AID (artificial donation by donor)
  • Embryo donation
  • Surrogacy


What do you think? Is fertility treatment a compassionate means of helping would-be parents or an attempt to play God? Is the created embryo respected or treated simply as a commodity, something that can be bought for a price?