Since the first “test tube baby” was born in 1978, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has helped millions of couples conceive.
The process involves retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with a man’s sperm in a lab. The resulting embryos are then implanted in the woman’s uterus.
IVF is often used when couples are unable to conceive through traditional methods. It may be an option when a woman:
- Has blocked fallopian tubes
- Has a male partner with low sperm count
- Has endometriosis
- Has ovulation disorders
In some cases, IVF may be used to prevent genetic disorders from being passed on to a child.
The success of IVF depends on many factors, including the woman’s age, the cause of infertility, and the quality of the embryos.
On average, women who use IVF are about 35 years old. The success rate for women under 35 is about 40 percent. It drops to about 10 percent for women over 40.
IVF is not always successful, but it has helped many couples have children that they may not have been able to conceive otherwise.