In vitro fertilization is a process used for a successful pregnancy. In this method egg cells are fertilized by sperm not inside, but outside the body. As most of the other techniques fail in infertility treatment, IVF proves to be successful in almost all the cases. It controls the ovulatory process hormonally by removing eggs from the woman’s ovary. The sperm is allowed to fertilize them in a fluid medium which can produce results. Then it is transferred to uterus and ends up with a successful pregnancy.
The history of in vitro fertilization traces back to 1978 when a test tube baby was born for the first time. Louise Browne was the first test tube baby developed by Dr. Robert Edward who was awarded Nobel prize in 2010. But the researches regarding this were started in the 1950s itself.
The term ‘in vitro’ was derived from a Latin word meaning ‘in glass’ as the process was done outside, mostly in glass tubes and beakers. The procedure inside is known as ‘in vivo’.
IVF is an assisted reproductive technique. This technique is used when the infertility is suspected, even after one year of sexual intercourse. There may be different reasons for the infertility. Hormonal imbalance, low sperm count, endometriosis in women, blocked fallopian tubes etc can cause infertility. Thus the main purpose of IVF is to overcome the infertility issue.
IVF can be considered as one of the most successful methods to increase the probability of pregnancy. The fallopian block, endometriosis and low sperm count can be overcome with IVF method. But IVF may not work well with a woman who is not capable of ovulating. If a person doesn’t have at least some healthy sperms, the possibility of IVF is again doubtful.
There are mainly two types of in vitro fertilization techniques.
In standard in vitro fertilization, ovary is stimulated and the eggs are collected. The fertilization is activated with semen. The embryo is then transferred back to the mother’s uterus.
In intracytoplasmic sperm injection (icsi) method, a single sperm is injected to egg directly with a micropipette using microscope. This is mainly done when male infertility occurs. This is the most modern technique available in fertilization.
Thus IVF can be opted when there is no other option to treat infertility. This acts as a boon to many couples who have no other option of having children. This is a safe as well as easy method too.