History of Fertility Treatments and its Innovation

History of Fertility Treatments and its Innovation

In modern times, the IVF technique has gained a lot of popularity as the ART method. According to the IVF centre in Punjab, the method is considered as the most favorable option when it comes to infertility treatment. If we look down the history, we can see a lot has been recorded about fertility and conception. In the olden times, fertility was associated with religion. Infertility was considered to be a curse given by the god for some misdeeds done by the man or the woman is the past birth. Praying, fasting, and chanting were considered to be effective in pleasing the gods. 

Discovery of Human Sperm

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch scientist, discovered the sperm in 1677. He is often called the father of Microbiology.

Discovery of Human Egg

In 1779, an Italian physiologist observed that sperm and egg cells needed to fuse together for fertilization to happen. This was followed by the discovery of egg in 1828.

The First Case of Artificial Insemination

The technique of Artificial Insemination was recorded in 1790. It was performed by a surgeon from Scotland, Dr. John Hunter.

The initiation of Donor Sperm

The first recorded case of donor sperm usage happened in 1884 in Pennsylvania. A doctor named William Pancoast injected a woman with sperm from one of his medical students. It was a successful method to treat the woman’s infertility. The procedure stayed controversial for several years. The courts in the US declared the process akin to adultery, even if the woman did it with her husband’s consent. Gradually, public sentiments began to change. By 1970s, the courts had softened their stand. The Uniform Parentage Act passed in 1973, legalized the process of Artificial Insemination and granted the status of legal guardians to the child born out of it.


The initial process of IVF was carried out on rabbits by a Harvard scientist. However, people were not comfortable with the ethical implications of the process. IVF was conducted on humans as early as the 1940s but it faced tough opposition from the public. The first human IVF baby, Louise Joy Brown, was born in England on July 25th, 1978 through the efforts of doctors. It was a milestone in ART and gave a ray of hope to millions of couples. Ever since then, IVF has occupied the topmost position among the ART techniques.

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