Infertility is known to affect one in eight couples worldwide. In India alone, infertility affects nearly 10 to 15 percent of married couples. Thanks to IVF (in vitro fertilisation), a lot of heterosexual couples, apart from homosexual couples and single parents, are now relying on the advancement in science and technology to have a baby.
It was Louise Brown who became the world’s first baby to be born via IVF, in 1978. So, how does IVF exactly work? In a Ted Talk, physician-novelist and activist writer Nassim Assefi and fertility doctor Brian Levine explain the science of making a baby in a laboratory.
“IVF works by mimicking the brilliant design of sexual reproduction. In order to understand IVF, we first need to take a look at the natural process of baby making. Believe it or not, it all starts in the brain,” highlight the experts.
The process, however, does not guarantee pregnancy, one of the primary factors being the woman’s age, along with sperm quality. The egg quality starts deteriorating with age, especially when a woman is above 35, leading to complications.
Is pregnancy through IVF safe for the woman and the baby? “Millions of babies, like Louise Brown, have been born from IVF and have had normal, healthy lives. The long-term health consequences of ovarian stimulation with IVF medicines are less clear, though so far, IVF seems safe for women.
Because of better genetic testing, delayed childbearing, increased accessibility and diminishing cost, it’s not inconceivable that artificial baby making via IVF and related techniques could outpace natural reproduction in years to come,” they further mention.