HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
In vitro fertilisation. Technician examining a human ovum through a light microscope to determine whether it is ripe and suitable for fertilisation. In IVF, fertility drugs are given to potential mothers to stimulate the production of several ova, rather than the usual one. These are then harvested, usually by laparoscopy, and are fertilised in a petri dish, using a fresh or frozen sample of the husband's sperm. If fertilisation is successful, the embryos are incubated and then transferred back into the woman's uterus via a catheter inserted through the cervix.
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