Today, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is practically a household word. But not so long ago, it was a mysterious procedure for infertility that produced what were then known as "test-tube babies." Louise Brown, born in England in 1978, was the first such baby to be conceived outside her mother's womb.
Unlike the simpler process of artificial insemination -- in which sperm is placed in the uterus and conception happens otherwise normally -- IVF involves combining eggs and sperm outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo or embryos form, they are then placed in the uterus. IVF is a complex and expensive procedure; only about 5% of couples with infertility seek it out. However, since its introduction in the U.S. in 1981, IVF and other similar techniques have resulted in more than 200,000 babies.
A luteal phase defect is a disruption in a woman's monthly menstrual cycle.
The luteal phase is one stage of the menstrual cycle. It occurs after ovulation (when the ovaries release an egg) and before your period starts.
During this phase, the lining of your uterus normally becomes thicker to prepare for a possible pregnancy.
If you have a luteal phase defect, the lining of your uterus does not grow properly each month. This can make it difficult to become or remain pregnant, although there is...