Did you know that as early as 1878, medical practitioners already studied the possibility of conceiving through artificial means?

It was only several years after in 1951 when sperm capacitation was discovered giving birth to a new technology we now refer to as in vitro fertilization.

The birth of IVF

In 1966, two gynecologists, Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards from Great Britain collaborated on developing the effectivity and reliability of in vitro fertilization.

Although they were able to have the eggs fertilized from outside of the woman’s body, they have difficulty of implanting it back to the womb.  Pregnancies only lasted for about a few short weeks.

Until one day, couples Lesley and John Brown approached Dr. Steptoe about in vitro fertilization. At that time, the procedure was purely experimental.

Unlike on their previous procedures wherein they waited at least four to five days to implant the fertilized egg back to the uterus, this time, the doctors had the implantation not less than two days from extraction.

In July 25, 1978, the world watched to the birth of the first ever baby conceived through in vitro fertilization.  Likewise, a new and advanced technology in the field of science and medicine has given childless couples hope.  A more advanced and accurate in vitro fertilization is now widely practiced all over the world.

How it got its name?

In vitro fertilization got its name from the word “in vitro” which means inside the glass.  This procedure is now considered as part of the maternity landscape.

In the United Kingdom alone, about one percent of births are done through in vitro fertilization. Numerically, that accounts to about 12,000 births in a year.

Who can avail?

Generally, in vitro fertilization can be administered to any child bearing woman.  In fact, in July last year, a grandmother of seventy in India gave birth to twins through in vitro fertilization. However, doctors suggest that anytime below the age of forty is most likely to produce a positive treatment outcome.

Couples who opt to avail of in vitro fertilization should remember that this procedure could be stressful yet rewarding.  Although in vitro fertilization is a painless procedure, it involves a series of tests and numerous injections.

These factors can be stressful yet rewarding to the couples.  An in vitro fertilization treatment may be availed in more than two cycles.  It can be costly but most clinics offer payment plans making the procedure accessible to all.

On a separate note, couples should also consider their lifestyle before getting into this treatment.  According to a survey on doctors administering the procedure, smoking is believed to be a factor that determines IVF success rates.  Consequently, couples who are smokers are advised to quit smoking before proceeding with the treatment.

What are the side effects?

In vitro fertilization has no down side.  While several complained of fatigue, dizziness and having abdominal cramps, these are only normal and could last for two days at most.

Getting enough rest and engaging in less stressful activities can increase the success rate of an in vitro fertilization procedure.