JOHN MCLEAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN MCLEAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Semen separated for IVF. Technician's gloved hand holding a centrifuge tube of separated human semen in a fume cupboard. This is for use in in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Sperm cells (white) are at the top of the tube. 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. Centrifuging concentrates the sperm cells, allowing them to be collected easily. IVF is used when a couple cannot conceive naturally. Sperm is introduced to 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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