The evolution of in vitro fertilization: Integration of pharmacology, technology, and clinical care

Eve C. Feinberg, Jason G. Bromer, William H. Catherino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


For the couple having trouble achieving pregnancy, the options and opportunities for assistance have never been brighter. Options such as controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, in vitro fertilization, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection have been developed over the past five decades and provide hope for couples that previously would have been considered infertile. In vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection represent a coalescence of advances in physiology, endocrinology, pharmacology, technology, and clinical care. In vitro fertilization has assisted well over one million couples in their efforts to start or build a family, and the demand for such services continues to increase. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the pharmacological advances that made controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, and therefore in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, possible. We will discuss the early stages of gonadotropin use to stimulate ovarian production of multiple mature eggs, the advances in recombinant technology that allowed purified hormone for therapy, and the use of other hormones to regulate the menstrual cycle such that the likelihood of successful oocyte retrieval and embryo implantation is optimized. Finally, we will review current areas that require particular attention if we are to provide more opportunity for infertile couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-942
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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