The history of the IVF treatment process began back in the 1800s, when scientists first learned that the female body contains eggs, and conception takes place when the male sperm meets those eggs. The first recorded case of artificial insemination was in 1884, when a doctor injected sperm into a woman under anesthesia. This was one of the first and greatest milestones for early infertility treatments.
After the turn of the century, fertility experts start to experiment with other means of contraception. During the early 1900s, doctors experimented with ovarian transplantations. Eggs were taken from a healthy woman and transferred into an infertile one. The first successful pregnancy was seen in 1906.
In the 1930s, a Harvard scientist conducted IVF experiments on rabbits, suggesting that a similar process can be done in humans. Later, scientist John Rock began to make attempts at experimenting with IVF in humans. The first successful fertilization of an egg didn’t occur until 1944, and wasn’t implanted into a woman’s uterus. The world’s first successful IVF baby, Louise Brown, wasn’t born until 1978.
Today, hundreds of couples visit fertility clinics to seek help with pregnancy issues, and about 85-90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures.
Approximately 44% of women who suffer from infertility have sought medical assistance at fertility clinics. That totals up to about 7.4 million women, or 11.9% of the female population. Of those who seek help from a fertility expert, approximately 65% give birth. Scientific strides are made every day as doctors find new ways to ensure more couples have a happy, healthy child.