In vitro fertilization (IVF) as its name suggests is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) used to allow couples facing infertility to be bestowed with a child. Garcia (2005) defines infertility as the inability of a couple to become pregnant (regardless of cause) after 1 year of unprotected sexual intercourse. About 90 million of couples globally are affected by infertility. More than 250,000 babies have been born by the method of IVF till now and they are referred to as test tube babies. An infertile couple can either have a biologically or non-biologically related child through IVF. (In Vitro Fertilization n.d) has clearly stated that people resort to IVF only after other fertility treatments have failed. The ultimate aim of IVF
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The eggs are then identified, rinsed and placed in a culture medium in plastic dishes. The dishes are kept in specialized incubators with monitored environmental conditions. The hormone progesterone is administered to the women 1-2 days after eggs retrieval to prepare the endometrium for implantation of the embryos. Garcia (2005) further explains that a semen sample is also taken from the man where the sperm will be separated in the laboratory. The eggs in the laboratory dish are then exposed to several thousand sperms for fertilization. This is referred as the in vitro fertilization as it occurs outside the human body.
These dishes are then incubated and examined for fertilized eggs. Nowadays, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is used in most IVF cycles where one quality sperm is injected directly into the cytoplasm of the egg (In Vitro Fertilization n.d.). The zygote forms just after the fusion of the nuclei of sperm and ovum. When 4-8-cell stage embryo is reached, embryo transfer is performed. This process is done by using a catheter (a long slender tube) into the woman’s uterus (DeCherney 1986). Hormones are then given to the woman for the next 2 weeks. If implantation is successful, the embryo will start to grow and develop into foetus and the pregnancy test result will be positive or vice versa. The women who undergo IVF must have daily intakes of the hormone progesterone for 8 - 10 weeks