Today, somewhere in the range of 7.4 million women have received a type of infertility service in their lifetime. Among those treatments, one of the most common is In Vitro Fertilization, or, the IVF procedure. The fascinating part of this infertility procedure is the history behind it that spans further back than you might think.
Where do babies come from?It wasn't until the middle of the 1800s that doctors found out pregnancy resulted from the sperm and egg. The internal biologies of conception and pregnancy were formerly unknown to the scientific community. When it was finally discovered, various doctors in the United States and England set to discovering how women who were infertile could somehow still have babies. The practices and attempts were unsuccessful in the beginning, but what would come from this surge in reproductive research would blossom into viable modern medicine years later.
ControversyGoing back to the superstition applied to infertility, there was also a great deal of "moral" inquisition when it came to IVF research. Scientific advances were hindered and women were kept from receiving IVF treatment. As science was making great strides (or at least attempting to), the church remained violently against the idea of life being created in a lab, instead of the intended natural way. Along with them, more conservative communities were equally opposed. Unfortunately, many of these people who were opposed were on the board of hospitals or on research teams at universities.
Louise Joy BrownIn spite of all the opposition, in England, in 1978, the first successful baby was born from an IVF procedure. Her name was Louise Joy Brown. Her birth was the culmination of nearly 100 years of research, experimentation, and fighting for the reproductive rights of women. Of course, after this happened in England, Australia and the United States weren't far behind, successfully announcing IVF births in 1980 and 1981, respectively. Once successful in the United States, fertility services increased, research deepened, and the IVF procedure was established in modern medicine.
Infertility is a difficult reality, physically and emotionally. Don't be discouraged! You're on the side of science, research, and kind-hearted people who want to see your fertility realized.