We’re pretty passionate about helping couples make babies and build families. So, for us, and for millions of families around the world, Friday, November 10, 2017, is a very special day.
Because it marks the 40th anniversary of the first successful IVF treatment – the moment when an embryo developed in a petri dish was successfully transferred to a patient, making her a mom, building a family, and bringing a new baby into the world nine months later. While that date was a watershed moment for reproductive science, it was even more monumental for the millions of couples experiencing infertility, who were given hope that they might one day build the family they’d dreamed of. And over the last forty years, there has been a veritable IVF baby boom. This fortieth birthday isn’t just about science – it’s about people, families, and hope.
At a time when one in five couples run into difficulties conceiving a child, and 50% facing challenges have male factor infertility, both men and women now have access to a range of fertility tools that help them understand their bodies from the very beginning – and in the comfort of their own homes. So, to celebrate IVF turning the big 4-0, we wanted to give a shout-out to some of the other incredible innovations that are helping couples make babies and build families.
- Ovulation Predictor Kits – There’s a reason they call it “trying to get pregnant” – women can only get pregnant during their fertile period, a five-day span before and including ovulation. Needless to say, it can take some calculating! A couple can get a much better understanding of when her egg is likely to be ready and waiting for his sperm by tracking ovulation with an easy-to-use at-home Ovulation Predictor Kit over the course of several months before they start trying to conceive. And, they’re much more likely to identify patterns or irregularities in her cycle that might make getting pregnant more difficult.
- Fertility Tracking Apps – Now, couples can apply advanced data and analytics to their family planning. Fertility tracking apps like Glow and Kindara allow women to input key details about their cycle (like mood, PMS symptoms, OPK results and cervical mucus) to make data-informed predictions about when they’ll menstruate and when they’ll ovulate – with reminders at the most important times get busy with their partners. Coupled with other tools, fertility tracking apps have the power to give women more insight into their bodies than ever before during the conception process.
- At-Home Sperm Testing – But of course, it’s not all about the ladies. It takes two to make a baby – a sperm and an egg. These days, men’s fertility tools like our very own YO Home Sperm Test are empowering men to understand their moving sperm count – the key to unlocking their own reproductive potential. Easy-to-use and smartphone-enabled, with >97% accuracy, YO helps men take that first step in the comfort of their own homes, with a moving sperm count rating that lets them know that things are looking good, or that they need to explore further with a specialist. At a time when sperm concentration has declined 50% in the span of forty years, many couples can’t risk waiting to see what happens – and technology now puts them in the driver’s seat.
The future is bright for couples struggling with infertility. The last forty years have brought us everything from IVF and at-home pregnancy tests to fertility apps and smartphone-enabled sperm testing – we can’t wait to see how far we’ve come in another forty.
So, join us on November 10 and enjoy a nice big piece of cake to celebrate IVF’s fortieth birthday! We’ve come a long way, baby.