IVF & Regulation

World's First Test Tube Baby

Each year, millions of couples try to conceive a child; unfortunately many can not. The process of figuring out why they have infertility issues can be long and complicated. Before in vitro fertilization, those women with blocked fallopian tubes had no hope of becoming pregnant. Lesley and John Brown were one of many couples, who after several years of trying to conceive, could not. After going from doctor to doctor, they were finally referred to Dr. Patrick Steptoe. Steptoe mixed Lesley's eggs with John's sperm in a petri dish, and after the egg was fertilized it was placed in a solution used to nurture the egg as it divided. After two and a half days, the fertilized egg, or embryo, was placed back into Lesley's uterus to grow. With no abnormal complications, Louise Joy Brown, the world's first test tube baby, was born in July of 1978. With this major medical breakthrough of iVF, there were several pros and cons to be considered.

< To the left is a picture of the Louise Joy Brown all grown up with her own family.

This video gives you a better idea of the process of in vitro fertilization and how it actually works.