History of Invitro Fertilization

On July 25, 1978 the first baby was born that had been conceived invitro.  These babies were referred to as “Test Tube Babies” because they were essentially created in a laboratory in a glass tube. Invitro Fertilization is the process where the egg harvested from a female is combined with the sperm obtained from a male in a lab and in a glass tube. This was the culmination of many years of research performed by Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards during the 1960’s and 1970’s in England.
The invention of the microscope in the 17th century really helped scientists understand how fertilization takes place. For hundreds of years following this development, research was done on how to implant fertilize eggs artificially, but while still within the body.  It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that fertilization outside of the body was begun. In 1959 the first rabbit to be conceived invitro was born, followed in 1963 by a hamster and in 1972 by the birth of a mouse.  The technique that really helped advance IVF was the use of laparascopic surgery. This allows the gynecologist to remove the follicles from the ovary very precisely.
It is estimated that now over 200,000 babies have been conceived using IVF. The procedure has been improved upon tremendously in the last few years.  Many times this process leads to multiple eggs being fertilized and more than one baby being conceived.
To speak to a physician at Jamaica Hospital about IVF and pregnancy in general please schedule an appointment at our Women’s Health Center at 718-291-3276.

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