MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: What is a test-tube baby?

Area: General Biology
Posted By: Julianne Dunphy,
Date: Wed Mar 19 18:56:49 1997
Hi Taimur,

A test-tube baby is the term that refers to a 
child that is conceived outside the woman's body.  The first 
successful test-tube baby was born in England in 1978 and since then
over 20,000 test-tube babies have been born worldwide.  The process
is referred to as in vitro (outside the body) fertilization.  
Simply put, eggs are removed from the mother's ovary and incubated 
with sperm from the father.  After fertilization, the "pre-embryos"
are allowed to divide 2-4 times (in a "test-tube", hence the name) 
and then returned to the mother's uterus where they can develop 
normally.  This procedure is one of many Artificial Reproductive 
Technologies (ART) that are used when conception has not been 
otherwise successful due to fertility problems of either the 
mother or father or both.  For a description of the different 
kinds of ART, see

Best Wishes,

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