Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is ART?
“Assisted reproductive technology (ART) refers to medical procedures used to achieve pregnancy and live birth involving the identification, collection, processing and / or storage of at least one of the following reproductive tissues and cells: oocytes, sperm, testicular tissue and embryos”. (European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare - 2017)

Is ART Regulated?
ART is highly regulated since it involves ethically sensitive medical activities leading to the birth of a child, while addressing the safety of patients, donors and the children born after ART. In Malta, ART is regulated by:
- The Embryo Protection Act Chap 524, (Act XXI of 2012 as amended by Act XXIV of 2018), to provide for the protection of the embryo and other ancillary matters, regulation on third party donation and new definition of prospective parents amongst other points.
- The Human Transplant Act Chap 483 (ACT IV of 2006, as amended by Legal Notice 427 of 2007), to regulate the collection and testing of human blood and blood components and to establish standards of quality and safety for human tissues and cells intended for human transplants.

Who can resort to ART?
“Any prospective parent shall have access to medically assisted procreation procedures: Provided that these procedures may only be resorted to where there is a reasonable chance of success and the procedures do not entail any known undue risk to the health of the woman or the child, beyond those already well known as inherently associated with the procedure itself” (Embryo Protection Act - 2018).

When is ART considered?
ART may be considered amongst others in cases of:
- Failure to conceive after 2 years of regular unprotected sexual intercourse
- Uterine abnormalities
- Tubal obstruction
- Ovary / ovulatory dysfunction
- Male infertility
- Unexplained infertility
- Unsuccessful attempts at other fertility treatment
- Ovarian failure with the need of egg donation

What does the process involve?
ART can be carried out using fresh or cryopreserved gametes (oocytes and sperm) or embryos. These can be from a “partner donation” for a couple being treated or a “non-partner donation”. The process at ART Clinic-MDH involves the following steps mainly:
- Counselling;
- Consent;
- Fertility Assessment;
- Screening;
- Semen / Sperm Collection;
- Ovarian Stimulation;
- Oocyte (egg) Retrieval;
- Oocyte & Sperm Processing;
- Insemination;
- Fertilization;
- Embryo Transfer and/or Cryopreservation of gametes and / or embryos.

All activities within the process of ART treatment can only be performed after authorization by the Embryo Protection Authority.