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Even though infertility seems to be an old phenomenon, it will be argued that it was discovered in a new way once it became necessary to legitimize the technological possibilities of artificial fertilization at the end of the 1970s. With the birth of the first test-tube baby in 1978 the public became excited about the new possibilities of medical procreation. Reactions were extremely divided because extracorporeal fertilization seemed to undo the difference between natural organisms and technologically created human beings.Today reproductive medicine is an accepted field of gynecology and an increasing number of couples make use of it (even in managing their fertility). This development was the result of the successful integration of reproductive techniques into the discourse of infertility which is by no means self-evident. From the perspective of how societies communicate about reproduction it becomes clear that the dividing line between fertility and infertility is disappearing.

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In: Gesnerus
In: Connecting Territories
in Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit Online
in Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online