Describe the steps involved in 'in vitro fertilization'.

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justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure that involves the fertilization of eggs or ova from a woman with sperm from a man in a laboratory. This procedure is used when a couple is unable to have a child in spite of the woman being able to produce healthy eggs that can be fertilized to create an embryo and the man able to create healthy sperm that can fertilize the egg. Normal fertilization is not possible here due to the fallopian tubes in the woman being blocked or the quality of sperm produced by the man being low.

IVF starts with the extraction of eggs from the ovaries. Usually several eggs are extracted in one extraction procedure to improve the rate of success. All these eggs are artificially fertilized using healthy sperm that have been collected from those present in the semen.

After the egg has been fertilized and the physician can see cell division indicating a healthy embryo, the embryo is implanted in the uterus of the woman. The procedure for the growth of the embryo then returns to that during conception of a child naturally. IVF is one of the several options available for couples that are unable to conceive a child naturally.