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 precedes 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.
By Abigail Haworth
Customer service, tech support...these days we outsource everything to
India. So why not pregnancy? Here is a report on the growing number of Indian
women willing to carry an American child.
The midday sun is ferociously hot outside the Akanksha Infertility Clinic, a
scuffed concrete building in the small Indian city of Anand. Crammed into a
single patch of shade by the gate, a stray cow and a family of beggars — caked
so uniformly in dung-colored dust they...