In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a procedure that involves retrieving eggs and sperm from the bodies of the male and female partners and placing them together in a laboratory dish to enhance fertilization. Fertilized eggs are then transferred several days later into the female partner's uterus, where implantation and embryo development will hopefully occur as in a normal pregnancy. IVF is performed by physicians who specialize in reproductive medicine and have received additional education and training in the evaluation and treatment of male and female infertility. IVF was originally developed in the early 1970s to treat infertility caused by blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. In 1978, the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in the United Kingdom. Since then, the number of IVF procedures performed each year has increased, and the success rate has improved significantly.