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In Vitro Fertilization: From First "Test Tube Baby" To Accepted ART

By HERWriter
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Many of today's couples trying to conceive may not have been born when the first successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) produced a healthy baby. Louise Brown, the first "test tube baby", was born in England in 1978. Louise and her parents were a brand new kind of pioneer.

Thirty-two years later, while the average person may not know anyone who's used IVF, or been conceived by it -- still and all, it's a procedure we've heard of. We might not know exactly what it is or how it's done, however.

"In vitro" is a Latin term meaning "in the glass". Unlike artificial insemination, in IVF the union of a woman's egg and a man's sperm occurs in a laboratory dish, rather than in the woman's body.

Resultant embryos then are implanted in a uterus of either the woman who owns the egg, or a previously agreed-to recipient.

Couples using in vitro fertilization should be healthy, and under the age of 35 years. The man's sperm needs to be healthy and active.

Over a period of about three weeks, a few outpatient procedures are performed.

Step one is hormonal stimulation via injection over about 10 days. This stimulates ovarian follicles. A number of fertility drugs are administered to cause the ovaries to produce multiple eggs instead of just one.

The eggs are removed surgically by follicular aspiration. A thin needle is inserted through the vagina, into the ovary and follicles (sacs) holding the eggs. The eggs are pulled out one at a time.

The sperm is put in an environmentally controlled chamber with the best eggs. This is called insemination.

Sometimes, the sperm is directly injected into the egg, in a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Once a fertilized egg divides, it's an embryo. Three to five days after fertilization, the embryos are deposited into the uterus through a catheter (thin tube) inserted into the vagina.

Three or four embryos are often transferred at a time, to increase the chances of viable pregnancy. Multiple pregnancies are not uncommon.

After this procedure, the woman should stay in bed several hours, being discharged from the hospital a few hours later.

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EmpowHER Guest

Thanks a lot!!!!
For me is always been a challenge to test the website on different browsers with different platforms, but this list of links made it all easy….
NIce post

January 17, 2011 - 4:13am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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