When did In Vitro Fertilization Begin?

The first ever in vitro Fertilization (IVF) birth occurred in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England, UK, on July 25, 1978. This birth resulted from the collective or collaborative work of Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards. Steptoe and Edwards began collaborating in human IVF research in 1968.

It is important to acknowledge that the history of IVF dates back over fifty years. The first successful IVF birth in a nonhuman mammal occurred in 1959, while the world’s first IVF-conceived baby (human being) was born in 1978.

IVF is a method of fertilization in which an egg is united with sperm outside the body, that is, in vitro (“in glass”). The procedure includes monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulation, extracting one or more eggs (ovum or ova) from her ovaries, and allowing a man’s sperm to fertilize them in a laboratory setting.

In other words, IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology. It’s a treatment for infertility and can also be used to prevent passing on genetic problems to a child.

In July 1978, Louise Brown was the first child born successfully after her mother had undergone IVF treatment. Louise was born as a result of natural-cycle IVF, where no stimulation was made.

Advancements in IVF techniques have significantly progressed since the birth of the first IVF baby in 1978. Initially achieving success rates in the single digits, IVF currently achieves success in around 50% of instances involving women under 35 years old.

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