In the case of normal pregnancy, a sperm cell from male fertilizes an egg cell from a woman. The fertilized egg then gets attached to the wall of the uterus and starts to develop into a baby. But in some cases sperm cells fail to fertilize the egg and the embryo will not be formed and pregnancy will not be happening. In such situations people make use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to help women become pregnant.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the common ART methods. In the IVF procedure, egg cell is fertilized outside the body and later implanted into a woman’s uterus. During this process, the natural menstrual cycle of a woman is suppressed with the help of medicines. Fertility stimulating hormones (FSH) are also given to the woman in order to produce more eggs. Then eggs are collected and sperm is directly injected into egg by process known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The sperm fertilizes the egg and fertilized egg divides to become an embryo. This embryo is placed in woman’s uterus which in later stages develops into a baby. Babies born as a result of IVF procedure is known as Test tube babies. IVF is an expensive technique. According to the data collected by American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 1% of the babies are conceived through IVF procedure in United States.
In Vitro Fertilization was developed by Robert Edwards in 1970s. He got the Nobel Prize in Physiology for his contributions for developing IVF. Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe are considered to be the pioneers of IVF technology. As a result of their efforts, first test tube baby was born on 25th July 1978. Name of the first test tube baby is Louise Brown.
Louise Brown wrote her autobiography, My Life as the World’s First Test-Tube Baby, and it was published in July 2015. In that book she explains her experiences as being considered as the first test tube baby.
Since she was the first person to be born as a result of In vitro fertilization (IVF), she was popularly known as “the test-tube baby” and many people started commenting on various aspects of her birth. Her family got many hate e-mails, but there were also a good number of messages from people saying that her birth had given hope to married couples who were unable to have children. There were many weird opinions from people telling them that there may be something wrong with this baby like she may have superhuman powers and she doesn’t have a soul.
When she was born, people thought this can be a technique for same sex couples to have babies and now it has become a reality. Now there are more than five million children born though the IVF procedure. Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards gave her the middle name ‘Joy’ and she tells that when she meets parents who got kids through IVF, ‘Joy’ is still the emotion she can see in them. She opines that the chances of having a baby for a couple is much higher now when compared to the scenario in 1970’s. This is happening because of the recent developments happening in the IVF technique.
When she was born, it was not imaginable for same-sex couples to get married and have children of their own. Now, same-sex marriages are legalized in many countries and by using IVF, it is possible for those couples to have their own children. IVF is also a blessing for that woman who wants to have children in the late stages of her life. Since it is possible to have children at any age by IVF.
When she was four years old, her parents showed her the film of her birth. She was worried initially, but her parents made her to understand that she was born in a different way as compared to other kids. She realized that her birth was very much significant to the world.
She leads an ordinary life and has a job at her home city of Bristol. She has two sons, both conceived naturally and she never had to go through IVF. She says that the people who are born through IVF procedure are just like everyone else. According to her test tube babies are normal kids who needed a little help from science to be on earth.