In vitro fertilization is a procedure in which the sperm and embryo are united in the lab. It was developed as a way of bypassing the fallopian tubes in order for a fertilized oocyte (egg) to gain access to the uterus. The first in vitro fertilization or 'test tube" baby was born in 1978 and in 1981 the delivery of the first IVF pregnancy in the United States was announced by Howard and Georgianna Seegar-Jones.
Over the last two decades IVF success rates have dramatically risen. With lab improvement and culture media changes, the rates have increased to over 50% in women under 37.
The possibility of continuing pregnancy cannot be predicted for any one patient as it depends on many variables-age, reproductive health of both parents, etc. However, the possibility of continuing pregnancy being achieved by IVF has improved from practically zero to one in 4 to 6 at IVF centers worldwide.
In Vitro provides many people with the opportunity to attempt pregnancy in the face of one or more factors that may otherwise decrease their chances.