What is test tube baby?

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Test tube baby

Test  tube baby scientifically known as invitro fertilization  is an assisted reproductive techniques wherein the fertilization of the human egg and spermatozoa take place outside the body in a petridish in an IVF laboratory which is specially designed to maintain sterile conditions, temperature and pressure.


In the body (means “invivo”) the fusion of the egg and sperm takes place in the fallopian tubes of the female reproductive system.  When there are problems in the fallopian or if the sperm count in the semen are low interms of number, motility and morphology, or incase of nil counts, ejaculation problems, in women like ovulation dysfunctions, hormonal imbalance, PCOS, immunological, anovulations, infections in the reproductive tracts in either men or women, etc, this fertilization of egg and spermatozoon does not take place and even if it does the embryo formed cannot successfully reach   the uterus to implant on its walls culminating into pregnancy.


Therefore in such cases the women is given gonodotropin injections, to stimulate the ovaries to produce more number of eggs, the eggs thus when mature, near to ovulation are triggered with hCG injection.  34-36 hours after, these eggs are carefully collected transvaginally with help of ultrasound using a needle.  The fluids collected is called as follicular fluid which the embryologist carefully screens and isolates the eggs, which are washed prior to placing them in an instrument called as 5% CO2 incubator at 370 C.  This incubator mimics the uterine environment. Specialized, highly nutrient fluid called as media is used to nourish the human gametes.  The husband produces an semen ejaculate which is processed and best spermatozoon are chosen (isolated from the entire ejaculate) to fertilize the eggs retrieved. Now fertilization can either be done conventionally wherein the spermatozoa thus prepared, at diluted concentration are added to eggs in culture and left to fertilize on their own.  Otherwise if there are problems either with spermatozoa or eggs the embryologist selects the best spermatozoa with motility and morphology and injects this single spermatozoon into the egg with help of injecting and holding needles.  This process is known as ICSI.  Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (more commonly pronounced as “Iksee”).  This procedure enhances, ensures fertilization rates.  The fertilized egg called as “pronucleus” then cleaves to form embryos.


After 3 to 5 days of culture these human embryos are carefully transferred to the womb of the female spouse in anticipation of a successful pregnancy.


Luteal support in form of hormonal support is provided to aid implantation of embryo and culminate into pregnancy.


This is “test tube baby” of IVF procedure in a nut shell.

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