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Funding for IVF

  • By: Michèle R. Davidson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Stem Cell Research
  • Edited by: Clive N. Svendsen & Allison D. Ebert
  • Subject:Ethics in Health Care (general), Medical Research

THE IN VITRO fertilization (IVF) procedure was first developed in 1975 in England by Dr. Robert Edwards (an embryologist) and Dr. Patrick Step—toe (a gynecologist). The physician team developed the concept and began research in 1971, and the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in 1978. The procedure itself involves the surgical removal of the eggs from the woman's ovary after the woman has been given ovulation—induction medications so that her body makes multiple eggs. Once retrieved, the eggs and sperm are mixed in a Petri dish so that fertilization can occur. Once fertilized, the embryos are placed within the woman's uterus so implantation can occur. IVF accounts for less than 5 percent of all infertility treatments in the United States.

The IVF procedure was ...

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