His research resulted in the first birth of a baby through in vitro fertilization in 1978. Today, an estimated 5 million other “test-tube babies” and their parents have Sir Robert Edwards to thank for their lives being made possible through his contributions to the field of IVF. Edwards passed away last week at the age of 87.
Along with his colleague Dr. Patrick Steptoe, Edwards developed IVF, the fertility treatment that involves removing an egg from a woman’s uterus, fertilizing it with sperm in a test tube, and then implanting it back into the womb to grow as a regular embryo. The treatment allowed couples who faced infertility problems to conceive their own natural child and earned Edwards the Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010. Edwards was also knighted in the UK for “services to human reproductive biology.”
An article about Edwards’ passing on CNN.com included a statement from Dr. Linda Giudice, the president of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, who said Edwards was:
“a great scientist whose stellar scientific work advanced our understanding of human reproduction, human embryonic stem cells, advanced pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and revolutionized the treatment of infertility.”
Dr. Giudice is a Board Certified OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist based in San Francisco, CA and is One of America’s Leading Experts on Female Infertility and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (POS).
Have you undergone IVF treatments? Tell us about your experience, and what Robert Edwards’ legacy means to you!