The EdiBoard is back again with Fun Medical facts in the month of June🎉

Read on, for interesting facts on In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a medical procedure which involves the fertilisation of an egg by sperm in a test tube or any other medium outside the body. ‘In vitro’ is a Latin term that means ‘in glass’, but the term generally refers to any biological procedure that occurs outside the organism it would normally take place in. Babies conceived by IVF are colloquially called test tube babies. However, IVF is normally performed in Petri dishes.

Since June is World Infertility Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to learn more about how infertility is managed. Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after having timed and unprotected sex for one year. It can include the inability to carry a pregnancy to term. Some causes of infertility are ovulation disorders, fibroids and hormonal problems for women, low sperm count, low sperm motility and abnormal sperm for men. IVF is a popular method used in the treatment of infertility, which affects over ten percent of couples worldwide.

In 1978, Louise Joy Brown became the first child to be conceived by IVF. She is forty years old now, with children of her own. Since then, over eight million children have been born because of IVF.

The IVF procedure basically involves stimulating ovulation, removing an ovum or ova from a woman’s ovaries, and letting sperm fertilise them. The sperm are provided by either a partner or a donor. The embryos (fertilised eggs) are kept in an incubator to grow for a few days. One or two healthy embryos are then transferred into the woman’s uterus. If implantation is successful, the woman becomes pregnant. Any remaining healthy embryos can be frozen and stored for future use.

Robert G. Edwards was the physiologist who developed in vitro fertilisation. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010. He died three years later. He also won the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in 2001. His pioneer work in reproductive medicine has given millions of couples a chance to have children and is giving hope to more couples who are facing infertility.



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