HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
In vitro fertilisation (IVF). Droplets of sperm being added to a petri dish containing ripe ova for in vitro 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, as seen here, 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 for up to 42 hours and then transferred back into the woman's uterus via a catheter inserted through the cervix.
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