In ancient times in many religions female infertility was considered a punishment of woman or of a married couple for their sins. And now there are cultures in which a barren woman (most of the time only she is blamed) - is a family disgrace. We live in a different time and a different culture, but the inability to have children still sometimes destroys families, and makes both women and men to feels inferior. Fortunately, modern medicine does not stand still, and the majority of cases of infertility can now be cured. The most complex problems can be solved by extracorporeal fertilization, aka technique of conception in a test tube.


Definition of extracorporeal fertilization, or ECF - is a method of treating severe cases of infertility in which conception is naturally impossible. The name of the technology is derived from two Latin words extra (external) and corpora (body). There is no better way to explain what is IVF and the nature of the procedure in which fertilization process takes place outside of the woman's body.

The term "Extracorporeal fertilization" (IVF) is derived from the Latin words "extra" and "corpus", means "outside the body." Synonyms of ECF are "in vitro fertilization", "fertilization in a test tube», «artificial fertilization." In English, ECF is referred to as IVF (in vitro fertilization).

In some publications you can find different wording of - IVF, invitro. The definition of In vitro fertilization is a technique that is used so women with different types of infertility can get a baby. To date, there are two most widely used and popular ways of fertilization, and each has its own peculiarities:

  • Artificial insemination
  • In vitro fertilization

IVF involves the creation of the conditions for conception outside the body of a woman, in a test tube, while the artificial insemination takes place directly inside of it.

The essence of the IVF method - in vitro fertilization - is that the fertilization of the egg by the sperm does not happen inside the woman's body but in an embryological laboratory. In a clinic of infertility treatment, the embryologist places the sperm and the egg in a test tube with a special environment and the most active sperm penetrates the egg and fertilizes it. Which means that the same processes happen as during a natural conception. In some cases, during in vitro fertilization, the price of which depends on the technologies used, alternative methods such as IVF ICSI may be used. The embryologist chooses a healthy and a viable sperm and using an ultra-thin needle injects it into the egg. Therefore, sometimes the children born by this method are called children from a test tube.

IVF how does it work?

Somewhere in the middle of the menstrual cycle women ovulate - A mature egg ready for fertilization enters into the peritoneal cavity from the follicle, located in the ovary. There it is immediately picked up by the cilia, the villi of the fallopian tubes, which by contraction, push the egg inside. From that moment a woman's body is ready for fertilization, and for about 24 hrs a viable egg in the fallopian tubes is expecting to meet with a sperm. For that to happen the sperm has to go through a long, bumpy ride. Having entered into the vagina during sexual intercourse with a portion of semen, nearly half a billion sperm, wagging their tails to accelerate, move upward.

Before the cherished meeting they have to pass a distance of about 20 centimeters, which will take several hours. On the way the sperm will meet with a lot of obstacles trying to overcome which, most of the tailed ones die. Only the strongest sperm will reach the goal. For the fertilization to take place, at least 10 million must enter the uterus, they will help pave the way for each other. Only a few thousand reach the finish line, and only one of them will make his way inside. Not necessarily the strongest one, but the luckiest, who will be closer to the entrance, which all of them worked on digging, to break through the protective shell of the egg.

But for many reasons, some of the steps possibly may not occur. This is the moment in vitro fertilization steps in.

What is treatment by IVF?

IVF fertilization, as mentioned above, is a method of artificial insemination outside the female body, as they say - fertilization "in a test tube".

IVF fertilization is indicated in any case or form of female or male infertility, in fact, an indication to its implementation can be simply the desire of a man and a woman to have a baby and, of course, the financial capacity to do so (IVF requires a tidy sum from the family budget).

The stages of in vitro fertilization (IVF)

  1. "Superovulation" Stimulation. During a certain period of time (7-50 days) hormonal medications are injected into the woman, the purpose of which is to stimulate ovulation so that at the time of collection it would be possible to get not just one, but several eggs.
  2. Collection of the eggs. When under the influence of hormones, the size of the follicles reaches 1.5-2cm, they get punctured in order to extract the eggs.
  3. Obtaining the sperm. Sperm of the man is collected through masturbation on their own, in case of failure to produce sperm this way, there are other methods.
  4. Implementation of IVF artificial fertilization. The collected egg cells are artificially fertilized through the injection into their nutritional environment of tens of thousands of sperm, or the "manual" injection of a single sperm directly into a single egg (ICSI technique). Which is, fertilization in a test tube (in vitro).
  5. Raising of the embryo. After the sperm has entered the egg an embryo is formed. It will "live" for several days in the test tube and then will be introduced into the uterine cavity.
  6. Introduction of the embryo. This is a painless procedure, two weeks after which you can take a pregnancy test. Usually it is a positive one in every three women that have done fertilization by the IVF method.

IVF not working? Why?

  1. Poor-quality embryos were transferred
  2. Diseases of the endometrium
  3. Abnormalities of the fallopian tubes
  4. Genetic diseases
  5. Problems of immunological character
  6. 5 categories of reasons for a missed abortion
  7. Medical errors
  8. Overweight
  9. Smoking, drinking alcohol partners

This method has its supporters as well as opponents, but the most important point of the in vitro method - is to enable infertile couples to have children.