Today, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is practically a household word. But not so long ago, it was a mysterious procedure for infertility that produced what were then known as “test-tube babies.” Louise Brown, born in England in 1978, was the first such baby to be conceived outside her mother’s womb.
Fertlity and In Vitro Fertilization
Unlike the simpler process of artificial insemination — in which sperm is placed in the uterus and conception precedes otherwise normally — IVF involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus. IVF is a complex and expensive procedure; only about 5% of couples with infertility seek it out. However, since its introduction in the U.S. in 1981, IVF and other similar techniques have resulted in more than 200,000 babies.
In the U.S. today, over 6 million people are affected by infertility. What should be the most joyous time in a couple’s life can often become the most difficult. This complex issue requires the latest medical technology with the equally important need for empathetic care. To help couples on this journey, Dr. Granet is joined by a nationally recognized expert, Arlene Morales, M.D., Fertility Specialists Medical Group, as she talks about the latest fertility treatments and what the best options are given the situation. Series: “Health Matters” [9/2007] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 12319]