In Vitro Fertilisation

Essay by Alannah_Clare579Junior High, 9th grade August 2006

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History and Development

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a fertility procedure which was first tested in 1978 by Dr. Edwards (an embryologist) and Dr. Steptoe (a gynaecologist) in England. Since then the technology has been further distinguished and developed by physicians and embryologists, with over 115,000 babies born worldwide.

IVF is a major treatment in infertility where other methods of achieving conception have failed. It is technique in which egg cells are fertilised outside the woman's body.

The possibility of a becoming pregnant by IVF has improved from a nil to one chance in 4-6 chances at IVF centers worldwide, though possibility of a pregnancy being achieved for any one patient cannot be predicted, as it depends on many variables - such as age and the reproductive health of both the wife and the husband. Although the chance of success varies from case to case, a careful evaluation is required to predict the probability of pregnancy in any situation.

The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing the ova from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient's uterus to establish a successful pregnancy.

The first successful IVF treatment was in the USA, producing Elizabeth Jordan Carr, took place in 1981 under the direction of Drs Howard Jones and Georgeanna Seegar-Jones in Norfolk, Virginia. Since then, IVF has become very popular, with as many as 1% of all births now being conceived in-vitro, with over 115,000 born to date.

Initially IVF was developed to overcome infertility due to problems of the fallopian tube, but it turned out that it was successful in most other infertility situations as well. The introduction of "intracytoplasmic sperm injection" (where the sperm is injected into the cell) fixes the...