Assisted Reproduction

For one reason or another, assisted fertilisation has become a big money business. While many women are concerned with preventing or aborting an unwanted pregnancy, countless others wanting to conceive experience difficulties. Some of these women seek help from fertility specialists, enough apparently to make fertility specialists among the highest income earners in the medical profession.

On July 25, 1978, in Oldham, England, a baby girl named Louise Joy Brown was born, the world’s first test-tube baby.

With this procedure, an egg was extracted from her mother and was joined with a sperm in a glass dish. Two and a half days later, after the egg cell had subdivided into eight microscopic cells, this little cluster of dividing cells was inserted into her mother’s uterus to develop normally.

The birth of Louise Brown led to a whole new chapter in treating the problem of infertility.

The successful use of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF - fertilisation occuring 'in glass' i.e., a testube or petrie dish) gave momentum to what is now known as assisted reproductive technology (ART). Worldwide, about 100,000 children are born annually as a result of IVF treatment. It has been estimated that about one million such children have been born since 1978.

To be concluded. . .