Vitro Fertilization Process

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It would perhaps be worth beginning with a description of what in vitro fertilization actually is. The process begins with the woman being prescribed fertility medications in order to stimulate the production of eggs in the ovaries; the eggs are then retrieved by doctors. Then the man produces a sample of his sperm. The crucial step of the process is described by the American Pregnancy Association in the following way:

"In a process called insemination, the sperm and eggs are mixed together and stored in a laboratory to encourage fertilization. The eggs are monitored to confirm that fertilization and cell division are taking place. Once this occurs, the fertilized eggs are considered embryos" (paragraph 7).

At this point, the fertilized egg—that
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In the ordinary process, the man's sperm enters into the woman's uterus upon completion of the sex act, and a sperm then fertilizes an egg within the uterus, if the woman happens to be in the right phase of her menstrual cycle.

With in vitro fertilization, on the other hand, the fertilization process happens within laboratory equipment, outside of the woman, after both the woman and the man have contributed reproductive cells to the doctors. This is why an infant who is produced in this way is colloquially sometimes referred to as a "test-tube baby:" the moment of conception occurs not within the uterus of the mother but rather within the relevant laboratory tools.

In vitro fertilization, while it can in fact successfully produce an embryo, has several risks that the woman should perhaps consider before following through with the process. This has to do both with the side effects of the fertility medications prescribed to the woman as well as the somewhat invasive nature of first retrieving eggs from the woman and then reinserting an embryo into the woman. The U.S. National Library of Medicine, for example, has indicated
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