In Vitro Fertilization

IVF, also called In Vitro Fertilization is a new way of fertilizing eggs. There are specialists in this area and they specialize in reproductive physiology perform IVF in animals and humans. Those people help us get IVF, which works in several steps:

1. Retrieve the eggs and sperm from the bodies of the male (father) and the female (mother)

2. The eggs and sperm are placed together in a laboratory dish to facilitate fertilization

3. Fertilized eggs allow to develop in vitro

4. After few days they are transferred into a female’s reproductive tract where implantation and embryo development occur

Embryo shortly

after fertilization

diagram showing the procedure of IVF

The first successful IVF offspring were rabbits, which were born in 1959. The next offspring were laboratory mice in 1968. In 1978, the first human IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born. Since than, IVF has been used to produce offspring from couples/parents with various infertility problems. IVF is originally designed to help infertile couples to have a family. It is the most reliable and safe way of bringing their child or children into the world.

The overall IVF procedure is very similar between humans and animals. The only major difference is that when collecting the oocytes (eggs) they are collected at an immature stage and are matured in a laboratory dish. Also human embryos transfer sooner than cattle embryos. Even though there are differences between human and animal the current IVF techniques are used successfully to produce offspring in both humans and animals.

Few decades before IVF procedure has been tested on animals to get to the point where human can be treated with the procedure. Two magnificent scientists, Dr Patrick Steptoe and Dr Robert Edwards were considered to be the pioneers of IVF procedure. They worked very hard and finally a human was born through the IVF procedure. On the 25th of July 1978, Louisa Brown was born. She was a healthy baby girl conceived in a glass petri dish. This was groundbreaking science. Both scientists were present at the scene of Louisa Brown’s birth and they probably had been as happy as Louisa’s parents.

Mature Egg Fertilized Egg Eight Cell Embryo

TERMS IVF = In Vitro Fertilization
In Vitro = "in a laboratory dish"


First IVF baby in China