Medical science has come a long way over the years. Once upon a time in a castle far away a beautiful princess may have been treated for various ailments by attaching blood sucking leaches to her arms. Infertility treatments in medieval times were disgusting if not ineffective.
Ground pig testicles soaked in wine was the ticket to cure your infertility and get you making babies, or so it was believed. Whether there was a valid treatment for it or not, infertility was recognized as a medical condition as far back as 4,000 years ago according to a cuneiform tablet that was discovered in turkey.
The ancient text described infertility as the inability to conceive a child through natural means. Although they didn’t have the medical know how and fertility drugs that we have today, one thing they had in common with current methods was the use of a surrogate mother.
Of course the surrogate mother still had a child through natural means, they didn’t have the technology to retrieve and implant eggs. The husband would father a child with the surrogate. He would hire a hierodule, which was a female slave who was allowed to go free after a male child was produced. Not so great sounding but it ensured the continuation of the family name.
While this is the oldest known example of a medical diagnosis of infertility, there could have been others that were older, we just haven’t found them. But this is evidence to show that infertility has been an issue throughout recorded history and man has strived to resolve the problem, the results of which are the modern medications and procedures that we know as IVF.