Natural and in vitro fertilisation

Natural and in vitro fertilisation

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Credit: CLAUS LUNAU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Natural and in vitro fertilisation. Computer artwork of the female reproductive system, showing normal internal fertilisation (left) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF, right). Normally an ovum (egg, orange), released (ovulation) by one of the ovaries (yellowish, upper left and right), is fertilised by a sperm (blue, upper left) and passes along the fallopian tube to the uterus (centre), where it implants in the uterine lining and develops into a foetus. With IVF the sperm nucleus (blue, upper right) is combined with the egg cell in a lab and the resultant embryo is manually introduced to the uterus, where it will develop in the same way.

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