In vitro fertilization, also known as IVF, is a fertility treatment that can help couples who are not able to conceive a child. These couples can choose to visit a fertility clinic, where IVF can be recommended to them.
Let’s take a look at 8 things you probably didn’t know about in vitro fertilization.
1. In vitro means “within the glass”
In vitro is a Latin term that means “within the glass”. This term can refer to different procedures that occur in a laboratory setting, such as clinical trials and medical studies.
2. In vitro fertilization and artificial insemination are not the same
The opposite of in vitro is in vivo, which means “within the living”. Artificial insemination, where semen is transferred into the uterus of a woman, is an example of in vivo fertilization.
3. Test tube babies are not developed in test tubes
“Test tube baby” is a term that is often used to refer to babies who have been conceived through IVF. However, IVF has nothing to do with test tubes; the egg is fertilized in a petri dish before being transferred into the uterus.
4. The first test tube baby was born in England in 1978
Louise Brown, the world’s first test tube baby, was born on July 25th, 1978. Weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces, she was a healthy and perfectly normal baby.
5. An IVF treatment can concern more than two people
When a couple visits a fertility clinic, the eggs and the sperm used for their IVF treatment can be theirs, or they can come from donors. The fertilized egg can be transferred into a surrogate’s uterus.
6. IVF can be used to treat different causes of infertility
Blocked fallopian tubes, ovulatory problems, endometriosis, and low sperm count are examples of infertility problems that can be solved with IVF.
7. IVF is never the first option used to treat infertility
IVF is never the first option recommended by a fertility clinic. Couples who are trying to conceive should first try fertility drugs, artificial insemination, and surgery before turning to IVF.
8. IVF has often been seen as a controversial treatment
In 1949, the Pope condemned the idea of fertilization outside of the human body. In the following years, the doctors who were working to develop this method faced controversy. Today, IVF is still being seen as an unethical choice in some religions.