42 years of IVF: Developments during changing times

May 12, 2022
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IVF Procedure

It was only 42 years ago, that history was made with the birth of Louise Brown, the first child born through IVF. Not many people were aware of the concept of IVF back then, but today, it is a widely prevalent idea that has helped many people experience the joys of parenthood in spite of being infertile. Changing and developing vastly over the years, IVF is one of the most prevalent types of ART(assisted reproductive technology) today.

Book an appointment to consult Dr. Uma Maheshwari for fertility concerns.

What is IVF?

  • IVF stands for in-vitro fertilization. It is a type of assisted reproductive technology
  • IVF essentially works through a combination of medicines and treatments, which infuse an egg with sperm and then implant the fertilized egg into the uterus
  • Any of the embryos implanting in the lining of the uterus results in pregnancy

What causes infertility?

Sperms released using IVF Pen

Fertility is affected by four main factors.

  • The woman's ovaries must be producing and releasing good quality eggs
  • Sperm must be produced and delivered in high numbers to the egg during intercourse
  • The passageways must be clear enough for successful implantation, that is, for the sperm to travel to the uterus to unite with the egg
  • The uterus lining must be capable of hosting the implanted embryo and sustaining the pregnancy

If these four factors are disrupted due to anything, such as hormonal disbalances, it results in infertility.

How does IVF work?

  • The mature eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and fertilized by a sperm in a lab.
  • Once the egg is fertilized, it is implanted into the uterus.
  • IVF is one of the most effective forms of ART.
  • IVF can be done using the couple's eggs and sperm. They can also opt to choose donors, anonymous or known. Some couples even choose to opt for a gestational carrier, who is a woman who has the fertilized egg implanted into her uterus.

Developments in the field of IVF

  • The first attempts at IVF were recorded as early as 1890 by Prof. Walter Heape who reported the first case of embryo transplantation in rabbits
  • By the end of the 18th century, a significant milestone had been laid in terms of in vitro fertilization, with the first full-term gestation period being carried out.
  • 80 years after that, Robert G. Edwards and Patrick Steptoe created history by successfully delivering the world's first baby born of IVF, Louise Joy Browne.
  • India flaunted her medical prowess by delivering the second baby in the world born of IVF only 69 days after the birth of Louise Browne.
  • Dr. Subhas Mukherjee from Kolkata delivered Kanupriya, also known as Durga through the method of IVF. his work, however, could not be published due to the lack of scientific evidence.
  • Due to the recognition of the rising cases of infertility, the ICMR acknowledged the need for development in the field of ART, thus leading to further development in IVF.
  • The first fully scientifically documented Indian baby born of IVF, Harsha, was born on 6 August 1986.
  • ICMR developed the National Guidelines for Accreditation, Supervision, and Regulation of ART Clinics in India in 2005
  • It was later translated into the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill in 2017

IVF is highly prevalent in the modern world and plays an important role in ensuring that infertility is not a problem for anybody anymore. However, it is important to choose your centre very carefully before you indulge in the process of IVF treatment. Maternity hospitals like Cloudnine offer some of the best IVF treatment facilities in the country. Consult your gynecologist and choose your centre wisely. All the best!