a(i) Describe the treatments available to help infertile couples to have children.
There are now many different types of treatments available to help infertile couples have children.
One of these is In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). This is a process in which fertilisation occurs outside the body of the woman, in-vitro being Latin for ‘in glass’, which is why IVF babies are often known as ‘test tube babies’. In the process of IVF a human egg is extracted from the ovary and mixed with semen from the husband or partner, fertilisation then occurs outside of the body. After fertilisation, the egg begins to divide and the newly developed embryo is then placed in the mother’s uterus, where it will hopefully mature into a baby.
According to Warnock report, which was set up by a government committee to examine the issue of IVF and embryo experiments, “IVF was regarded as an established form of treatment for infertility.” The first successful IVF procedure occurred in July 1978 (Louise Brown) and was a result of 10 years of research by Dr R.G. Edwards who said, “a society that permitted eugenic abortion could hardly object to IVF which was trying to ‘create life’.”
IVF is one of the only infertility treatments that can be used if both the husband and wife have fertility problems, such as damaged fallopian tubes or a low sperm count, and is often the only way these couples can have biological children. It is also the only treatment that lets women with the inability to conceive bare and give birth to their child. However IVF is a very long expensive process that has a low success rate only 15- 20% of IVF patients give birth.