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By H. J. Leese (auth.)

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G. Edwards and colleagues in 1969, of the fertilisation of human ova in vitro. e. the birth of a baby following IVF had to wait until 1978! Pitfalls should not be thought of in a negative sense, as detracting from the advancement of scientific knowledge. On the contrary, they are fundamental to it, and illustrate the way one learns from one's mistakes. They also reflect the need for scientists to be critical and sceptical about each other's work. This scrutiny takes place mainly in the scientific literature, but also at scientific meetings and informally as scientists talk to and about each other.

53 THE MAN THE 1 WOMAN ! 5 The stages of GIFT EGG AND EMBRYO FREEZING The successful freezing and thawing of mouse embryos was reported independently in 1972, by David Whittingham and Ian Wilmut. However, the first human baby resulting from a frozen and thawed embryo was not born until Boxing Day, 1983, in The Netherlands, and the second, in Australia in the spring of 1984. The basis of embryo freezing is to allow cooling to take place at a carefully controlled rate in the presence of 'cryoprotective' agents (that is antifreezes) such as glycerol, dimethylsulphoxide, ethylene glycol and propanediol.

1) Ovulation Problems When the woman is responsible for the infertility, the problem in about half of them is a failure of ovulation. Over 90 per cent of such cases may be treated successfully with hormones, and it is useful to describe the hormones briefly since they are also used in IVF programmes. The main ones are clomiphene, Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Human Menopausal Gonadotrophin (HMG) and Gonadotrophin Releasing Hormone (GnRH or LHRH). Oomiphene, known by its trade names, Clornid or Serophene, is very widely prescribed.

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