Iran has taken big steps toward treating infertility and exploiting external fertilization to help childless families realize their dream of having a baby.
Iran’s first test-tube baby who was born at Yazd Research and Clinical Center for Infertility 25 years ago has given birth to twins.
The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) quoted Mohammad Hossein Amir Arjmand as breaking the news on the sidelines of the First International Reproduction Congress, which was held in Tehran from May 23 to 25. The congress hailed Dr. Amir Arjmand as the select veteran scientist and thanked him for his efforts in the field of IVF.
Amir Arjmand initiated his research-based activities at the Research and Clinical Center for Infertility of Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences and Health Services back in 1989 and worked with Professor Safa Alhasani [who is a Clinical Embryologist in Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinic of the Medical Faculty of the University of Luebeck in Germany and a pioneer in the Human Assisted Reproduction. He contributed to the birth of the first IVF baby in Germany in 1982]. Together they established an embryology lab in Shahid Sadoughi University.
The following is the translation of an excerpt of his remarks:
Amir Arjmand said the first In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)* pregnancy went to full term in 1990 in Yazd, central Iran, and Iran’s first IVF baby was born later in the same year, adding the baby girl – Vajiheh – is now 25 years old and has given birth to twins.
He went on to say that currently 20 percent of the Iranians are infertile, adding we need to use different methods such as [embryo] cultures, cutting-edge lab equipment, genetic research and early diagnosis to treat those who need assistance and try to transfer the results of infertility treatment [to others].
A study of infertile couples who undergo IVF shows that egg recipients have a 30-45 percent chance of developing an embryo, he said, adding the percentage has grown to 50 percent in some cases.
Amir Arjmand also said that the infertility treatment can be more successful for those who cannot conceive without medical assistance thanks to new methods such as freezing, egg freezing (or human oocyte cryopreservation) and embryo cryopreservation.
He said if a couple cannot get pregnant with their fresh embryo, they can use their own frozen fetus, adding this method has raised their chances of reproduction.
IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in which special medical techniques are used to help a woman become pregnant. It is most often tried when other, less expensive fertility techniques have failed. Medicines, called fertility drugs, are given to the woman to boost egg production.
In vitro fertilization is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body: in vitro (“in glass”). The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulatory process, removing ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a liquid in a laboratory. The fertilized egg (zygote) is cultured for 2–6 days in a growth medium and is then implanted in the same or another woman’s uterus, with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.