Reproductive technology

Reproductive technology

Reproductive technology encompases all current and anticipated uses of technology in human and animal reproduction, including assisted reproductive technology, contraception and others.

Assisted reproductive technology

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is the use of reproductive technology to treat infertility. This is today the only application of reproductive technology to increase reproduction that is used routinely. Examples include "in vitro" fertilization and its possible expansions.
* artificial insemination
* cloning (see human cloning for the special case of human beings)
* cryopreservation of sperm, oocytes, embryos
* embryo transfer
* hormone treatment
* in vitro fertilisation
**intracytoplasmic sperm injection
* preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)
* surrogacy
* testicular sperm extraction (TESE)
* Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)
* artificial reproduction


Contraception is a form of reproductive technology that enables people to control their fertility.


The following techniques, in contrast to ART, are not yet routinely used. In fact, most of them are even at the developmental stage:
* artificial wombs
* germinal choice technology
* "in vitro" parthenogenesis
* reprogenetics


Many issues of reproductive technology have given rise to bioethical issues, since technology often alters the assumptions that lie behind existing systems of sexual and reproductive morality.

Also, ethical issues of human enhancement arise when reproductive technology has evolved to be a potential technology for not only reproductively inhibited people but even for otherwise reproductively healthy people.

In fiction

Science fiction has tackled the themes of creating life through other than the conventional methods since Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". In the twentieth century, Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" (1932) was the first major fictional work to anticipate the possible social consequences of reproductive technology. Its largely negative view was reversed when the author revisited the same themes in his utopian final novel, "Island" (1962). A fuller list of fiction that deals with the ideas raised by reproductive technologies can be found at Reproduction and pregnancy in science fiction.

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