October 27, 2020
It has been forty-two years since the first test tube baby in the world, Louise Brown, was born on July 25, 1978, in a Manchester hospital by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure. Delivered a few minutes before the midnight through Caesarean section, Louise Brown weighed 2.6 kilograms on birth. Her birth has been recognised as ‘the most remarkable medical breakthrough of the 20th century.’
In 2006, Louise Brown gave birth to a boy who was conceived naturally. Since the birth of the first test tube baby, over 8 million babies have born from the IVF procedure.
Lesley and Peter Brown, the parents of the first test tube baby, have decided in November 1977 to undergo an ‘experimental’ procedure called IVF that appeared hopeful for infertile couples. And the rest is history. They gave birth to Louise Brown on July 25, 1978. They took this decision because Lesley had complications of blocked fallopian tubes, a cause of infertility.
In vitro fertilisation or IVF is a procedure in which mature eggs are collected from the ovaries and fused with partner or donor’s sperm, outside the body to create a zygote, which turns into an embryo. After a few days of the procedure, the embryo is then implanted into the woman’s uterus.
Minds that developed this procedure were the British scientist Robert Edwards, his gynaecologist colleague Patrick Steptoe, and Jean Purdy, a renowned embryologist. Robert and Patrick had been working on it for over a decade. Initially, Robert had successfully fertilised an egg outside the body in 1969. Later, he asked Patrick to join him to refine the procedure. The duo attempted implantation through this procedure in 282 females out of which 5 got clinically pregnant but did not give birth to a live baby. Then joined the team, Jean Purdy. Despite disapproval from religious groups and the general public, the trio worked secretly to develop the IVF procedure.
Finally, on the big day, doctors filmed the C-section to record Lesley’s damaged fallopian tubes to prove that their claims were not a hoax.
The name of the first Indian test tube baby is Kanupriya Agarwal who was born on October 3, 1978. Late Dr Subhash Mukherjee was the first-ever person in India and the second in the world to create a baby through the IVF procedure.
The felicity of becoming a parent of a child is incomparable. In vitro fertilisation is no less than a boon to the couples who have been longing for a kid. After the first test tube baby, IVF, over all these years, has blessed numerous couples with the joy that is hard to put in words.
IVF is a great option for the couples having problem in conceiving a baby. However, it is important that the couple chooses an experienced and advanced clinic for IVF treatment.
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