COLIN CUTHBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY COLIN CUTHBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
IVF embryo. Technician using a microscope to study an embryo produced by in vitro fertilisation (IVF). The view through the microscope is seen on the monitor at centre right. IVF involves removing an egg cell from the prospective mother's body, and fertilising it using sperm cells in a laboratory. Once this has been done, the developing embryo is checked to ensure it is healthy, as seen here. If it is developing normally, it is re-introduced into the mother's body, where a normal pregnancy follows. IVF is used when a couple cannot conceive naturally. It has around a 65% success rate when attempted over a six month period.
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