Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 45, Number 3, May-June 2005
SYMPOSIUM: Homage to Professor Charles Thibault
Page(s) 291 - 298
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 45 (2005) 291-298
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2005021

Charles Thibault and assisted reproduction in France

Jean Cohen

8 rue de Marignan, 75008 Paris, France

Abstract - Charles Thibault was liked by French gynaecologists. There was not a year that Charles Thibault did not attend clinician gynaecology conferences. He made great strides in research on in vitro fertilisation, being the first to perform in vitro fertilised (IVF) oocyte transfers in rabbits. Later, in 1978 the first human pregnancy following IVF was achieved in the UK when Louise Brown was born. In 1980, two French teams,one at the Sèvres hospital and the other at the Clamart University Teaching Hospital, carried out egg retrievals in patients with natural cycles, after determination of the urinary LH peak, under general anaesthesia and by laparoscopy. The Clamart team developed LH SIR, which enabled a more accurate determination of the ideal time for egg collection. In 1983, the same team reported the first ambulatory oocyte retrievals by ultrasound, under local anaesthesia. This new technique did not require general anaesthesia. Finally, in 1983, the rate of births, per transfer, for the Sèvres team rose to 5.31%. 1984 showed considerable improvement: 13.83%. The first step in establishing IVF in France was completed with the Carghese symposium, in September 1984, where Charles Thibault pleaded for animal experimentation before human clinical trials. It was only later that ART developed significantly, necessitating a legislative framework and organisations such as GEFF and FIVNAT.

Key words: in vitro fertilisation / embryo transfer / human

Corresponding author: Jean Cohen

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005