Clomiphene citrate, more commonly known by its brand names Clomid and Serophene, is a medication prescribed to women to stimulate ovulation in order to treat infertility. It stimulates ovulation in women who do not ovulate or ovulate irregularly. This drug was created by Dr. Frank Palopoli in 1956 while he worked for Merrell Company. It first successfully induced ovulation in women in 1961 and was approved by the Federal and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1967. This medication can be used to help women conceive naturally, to time ovulation for intrauterine insemination, or to stimulate the maturation of eggs to be extracted and used in procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT).

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international scientific effort to sequence the entire human genome, that is, to produce a map of the base pairs of DNA in the human chromosomes, most of which do not vary among individuals. The HGP started in the US in 1990 as a public effort and included scientists and laboratories located in France, Germany, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom. Scientists hypothesized that mapping and sequencing the human genome would facilitate better theories of human development, the genetic causes and predispositions for a number of diseases, and individualized medicine. The HGP, alongside the private effort taken up by the company Celera Genomics, released a working draft of the human genome in 2001 and a complete sequence in 2003. The history of the HGP ripples beyond biomedical science and technology into the social, economic, and political.

Many difficulties can arise with a pregnancy even after the sperm successfully fertilizes the oocyte. A major problem occurs if the fertilized egg tries to implant before reaching its normal implantation site, the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants anywhere other than in the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancies cannot continue to term, so a physician must remove the developing embryo as early as possible. Although no longer a significant risk to the mother's life due to improved detection methods as well as treatment procedures following detection, ectopic pregnancies can still pose a major risk to the mother's health if not detected early. If the fallopian tube ruptures as a result of an ectopic pregnancy, the physician can either try to repair the fallopian tube or remove the damaged portion. Various risk factors predisposing women to a higher chance of ectopic pregnancy include fallopian tube scarring, damaged fallopian tubes due to past ectopic pregnancies, or an inflamed fallopian tube.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an assisted reproductive technique (ART) initially developed by Dr. Gianpiero D. Palermo in 1993 to treat male infertility. It is most commonly used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or a less commonly used technique called zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT). In natural fertilization, the sperm must penetrate the surface of the female egg, or oocyte. When the male has a fertility problem such as low sperm count, malformed sperm shape, or sperm immobility, there is a significant decrease in the chance a healthy sperm will penetrate the outer surface of the oocyte. Other fertility problems ICSI can be used to overcome include the sperm having trouble attaching to the egg or the male having a blockage in his reproductive tract preventing normal ejaculation. In this procedure, the physician first obtains the sperm and oocytes from the male and female and then manually injects the sperm through a needle into the oocyte to fertilize it in an injection plate. The physician then places the fertilized egg into the female s uterus for implantation, following IVF procedures.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, is one of the earliest and simplest assisted reproductive technologies (ART). With this technique, sperm from either a partner or donor (such as from a sperm bank) is inserted with a syringe into the woman's vagina during ovulation to increase the probability that fertilization will occur and lead to pregnancy. This procedure is most effective for couples with male fertility problems, such as impotence, though it is also used to treat idiopathic (of unknown cause) infertility, vaginismus (wherein the female involuntarily constricts her vagina), and hostile female cervical mucus that rejects the male's sperm. In the 1940s and 1950s cryopreservation facilitated the preservation of sperm through freezing methods for later use, such as in IUI.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) initially introduced by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards in the 1970s to treat female infertility caused by damaged or blocked fallopian tubes. This major breakthrough in embryo research has provided large numbers of women the possibility of becoming pregnant, and subsequent advances have dramatically increased their chances. IVF is a laboratory procedure in which sperm and egg are fertilized outside the body; the term "in vitro" is Latin for "in glass."

Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) first used in 1986 to help those who are infertile conceive a child. ZIFT is a hybrid technique derived from a combination of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) procedures. Despite a relatively high success rate close to that of IVF, it is not as common as its parent procedures due to its costs and more invasive techniques. Some patients prefer ZIFT, however, considering it more natural because the fertilized oocyte, the zygote, is placed in the woman's body for implantation much sooner than with IVF.

Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are a collection of different techniques designed to help those who are infertile achieve a successful pregnancy. The most popular technology currently in use is in vitro fertilization (IVF), but others include gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), intrauterine insemination (IUI), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Although not encompassed under the umbrella term of ART, there are also various hormonal medications that can induce ovulation such as clomiphene citrate that can either be used alone to help women conceive, or used in conjunction with the above techniques. Infertility is a problem that has affected people throughout history, but it was only in the last half of the twentieth century that medical research developed technologies to help those who are infertile become pregnant.

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