SEP 26, 2018 12:40 AM PDT

The Science Behind 'Test Tube Babies'

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Infertility is more widespread than we imagine - around the world, over 48 million couples experience fertility problems. For couples who have trouble conceiving naturally, assisted reproductive techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be an effective treatment.

The IVF procedure was pioneered in the 1970s. While new technologies have been adapted to the procedure over time, the fundamental concept remains the same: A woman's egg is fertilized by sperm outside of her body, and then implanted back in the uterus to make a baby.

Since its pioneer days, researchers estimate that IVF has resulted in about 5 million births. Yet, the success rate of individual IVF treatment remains low at 35 percent. Watch the video to learn the complexities of this procedure and why ‘test-tube babies' are such miracles.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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