In vitro fertilization

A method of treating infertility in which an egg ( ovum) is surgically removed from the ovary and fertilized outside the body. The woman is given a course of fertility drugs to stimulate release of eggs from the ovary. This is followed by ultrasound scanning to check the eggs, which are collected by laparoscopy immediately before ovulation. They are then mixed with sperm in the laboratory. Two, or sometimes more, fertilized eggs are replaced into the uterus. If they become safely implanted in the uterine wall, the pregnancy usually continues normally. Only about 1 in 10 couples undergoing in vitro fertilization achieves pregnancy at the 1st attempt, and many attempts may be needed before a successful pregnancy is achieved. Modifications of the technique, such as gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), are simpler and cheaper than the original method.


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