JOHN MCLEAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN MCLEAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Semen separation for IVF. Technician pipetting semen into a sterile centrifuge tube to separate it for use in IVF (in vitro fertilisation). A centrifuge separates fluids by spinning them rapidly, causing denser fluids to travel to the lower parts of the tube. Semen contains sperm cells and fluid secretions from the prostate gland. Centrifuging concentrates the sperm cells, allowing them to be collected easily. IVF is used when a couple cannot conceive naturally. Sperm from the father is introduced to the mother's egg cells (ova) in a laboratory. If fertilisation is successful, one or more embryos are placed into the mother's uterus and a normal pregnancy ensues.
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