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In Vitro Fertilization

In Vitro Fertilization

•  Since the 1970's new infertility treatments have solidly advanced through study, research and implementation from theoretical and experimental to mainstream with growing public acceptance and support.

•  Given the growing number of couples diagnosed with infertility, today there are more than 400 medical clinics in the United States that specialize in the treatment of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

•  Currently, approximately 15 to 20% of infertile couples are medically advised to consider the medical treatment of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

What is In Vitro Fertilization?

In Vitro Fertilization was introduced in England in 1977 by Drs. Edwards and Steptoe as a ground breaking treatment for infertility.  Dr. Edwards was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2010 in recognition of this medical advancement.


To learn about the risks associated with In Vitro Fertilization, cl i ck here.

In Vitro Fertilization Update

•  The world's first In Vitro Fertilization (test tube) baby was Louise Brown.  She was born in England on July 25, 1978.

    • Four years after Louise's birth, her parents underwent a second IVF attempt and 9 months following gave birth to her sister.
    • When Louise Brown was 28 years old (2006) she and her husband happily announced that Louise was pregnant (no medical assistance was necessary for them to achieve the pregnancy). Louise and her husband have since given birth to two children.

•  Since 1978, world wide, more than 4 million children have been born using IVF.

•  The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) collects data from each medical clinic related to treatments and   outcomes, including the number of IVF cycles, cryopreservation and live births resulting from this treatment. Approximately, 34% of IVF transfers result in a live birth. 

To put these figures into perspective, studies have shown that the rate of pregnancy in couples with proven fertility (no infertility challenges) is only about 20 percent per cycle. Therefore, although a figure of 34 percent may sound low, it is greater than the chance that a fertile couple will conceive in any given cycle. (SART, 2013)


Medical Advances: Embryo Cryopreservation (Embryo Freezing):

•  Cryopreservation (embryo freezing) is now used in conjunction with the In Vitro Fertilization process to protect and preserve the embryos that cannot immediately be transferred to the womb following creation.

•  The first reported pregnancy in humans using frozen embryos occurred in 1983.

•   It is now understood that children can be born from embryos that have been cryopreserved extended periods. A child has been born from human embryos that were frozen for 20 years. (Source: Fertility and Sterility)

To learn more about cryopreservation, click here.


•   Today there are an estimated 600,000 cryopreserved (frozen) embryos being cared for in medical clinics around the country. While most embryos created through IVF will be used by the couple that created them, with birth success growing, tens of thousands of these embryos will not be used by the creating couple and they will be faced with difficult decisions that must be made on behalf of their unused embryos.

•   Once created a decision must be made on behalf of the remaining embryos. The embryos can be donated to another infertile couple, remain frozen in time (although eventually a final decision will become necessary), discarded or submitted to science for research.

Each of these cryopreserved embryos holds life and has the potential to become a child and fulfill the dream of family for couples struggling with unresolved  infertility.  It's estimated that 3,000 children have been born through the gift of embryo donation.

To learn more about Embryo Donation, click here.