In Vitro Fertilisation Essay

1095 words - 4 pages

History and DevelopmentIn Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a fertility procedure which was first tested in 1978 by Dr. Edwards (an embryologist) and Dr. Steptoe (a gynaecologist) in England. Since then the technology has been further distinguished and developed by physicians and embryologists, with over 115,000 babies born worldwide.IVF is a major treatment in infertility where other methods of achieving conception have failed. It is technique in which egg cells are fertilised outside the woman's body.The possibility of a becoming pregnant by IVF has improved from a nil to one chance in 4-6 chances at IVF centers worldwide, though possibility of a pregnancy being achieved for any one patient cannot be predicted, as it depends on many variables - such as age and the reproductive health of both the wife and the husband. Although the chance of success varies from case to case, a careful evaluation is required to predict the probability of pregnancy in any situation.The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing the ova from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient's uterus to establish a successful pregnancy.The first successful IVF treatment was in the USA, producing Elizabeth Jordan Carr, took place in 1981 under the direction of Drs Howard Jones and Georgeanna Seegar-Jones in Norfolk, Virginia. Since then, IVF has become very popular, with as many as 1% of all births now being conceived in-vitro, with over 115,000 born to date.Initially IVF was developed to overcome infertility due to problems of the fallopian tube, but it turned out that it was successful in most other infertility situations as well. The introduction of "intracytoplasmic sperm injection" (where the sperm is injected into the cell) fixes the problem of male infertility greatly.For IVF to be successful it may be easier to say that it requires healthy ova, sperm that can fertilise and a uterus that can maintain a pregnancy. Cost considerations generally place IVF as a treatment when other less expensive options have failed.RESEARCHResearch on human embryos aiming at improving IVF-ET techniques should be considered to be a priority over other types of embryo research.IVF requires an average of eight to ten attempts to collect oocytes to obtain one birth therefore remains a not very efficient way to reproduce. The success rate is about half of the estimated rate of natural fertilisation. Some couples undergoing IVF achieve a positive result at their first attempt whereas some may not succeed at all. Couples attempting IVF should be prepared for the possibility of the uncertainties involved in these procedures.To improve IVF-ET the biological events starting with ovarian stimulation and ending with pregnancy must be better understood and controlled . As a matter of fact, a halt in the development is observed at the time of implantation (between day six and fifteen)...

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