Science Information

The Fertilization Process and Implications of Test Tube Babies

Through the wonders of science, infertile couples who were previously unable to bear children, due to reasons such as blocked fallopian tubes, low sperm count, low egg quantities or advanced age of the mother, are now able to conceive through in-vitro fertilization. The results are babies known as test-tube babies which are technically conceived outside the womb.

In a natural scenario, the conception of a baby occurs when the ovum, travels from the ovaries, through the fallopian tube to be fertilized by the sperm of the father during sexual intercourse. From this point on, the fertilized egg will travel down towards the uterus and during the process division of cells will occur until it reaches its final destination at the wall of the uterus. However, in the cases of block fallopian tubes, the eggs are unable to travel from the ovaries to the uterus and conception cannot happen.

Developed in the United Kingdom by Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards, the process of in-vitro fertilization involves removing eggs from the ovaries of the mother and combining them with the sperm of the father in a lab environment. The fertilized egg is then placed back into the uterus of the mother after 3 to 5 days and will remain there to grow till birth. Because of the low success pregnancy rate of this procedure, a few eggs are placed in the uterus to increase the odds of success. With this process, statistics have shown that the rates of multiple births have increased where 24 percent of the in-vitro fertilization births have produced twins.

The first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, who was born on the 25th July 1978, marked hope for other infertile couples to have a baby through this procedure. However, many others were concerned about the ethical issues surround this. One major area of concern was the fact that as the egg is located outside the womb for a few days while the cells multiplied before being put back inside the uterus, the health issues affecting this baby is unknown. Indeed, research has been shown that test-tube babies have a higher chance of birth defects and low birth weight, and researchers still have not been able to determine the reason for this.

Other issue of concern is that through this procedure, some of the eggs fertilized in the lab are later discarded. Does this procedure mean that the researchers are actually killing potential people? How is the line drawn in this case?

Then there is also the issue of commercial opportunities for eggs and sperms to be bought and surrogate wombs to be rented with the purpose of creating babies. This process of embryo transfer to another mother, not necessarily the same woman who had provided the eggs, is known as placing the embryo in a gestational carrier. This procedure has been becoming increasingly common through technological advancement, which has made couples including women with uterus problems, have a chance in having their baby.

Test-tube babies have really brought changes to the way in which babies are conceived and have given much hope to many who have had problems having babies through the process of . However, the downside of this are the ethical issues behind the procedure, with which still poses a big question mark and with which is still opposed by many factions.

For more details on cell biology, please visit

Author's bio

Dr. Richard Waller has been helping thousands of infetile couples and gave hope to childless women since 1999 through the process of in-vitro fertilization. He is based in England.

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at

New York Times

Where Will Science Take Us? To the Stars
New York Times
After 30 hours of bumping along on planes and buses, at long last I stood in the darkness and gazed upon an immense night sky. My long journey seemingly had brought me to the shoreline of interstellar space rather than the high-altitude plateau that is ...


Stan the Man's Lasting Legacy to Science & Technology
In that story, I argued that's great for getting kids interested in STEM to help fill the skills gap, but Stan Lee's creations have been around for 60+ years and have already made a huge impact. It's impossible to know how many scientists and ...

and more »


A New Nebula Award Category Honors Writing For Science Fiction And Fantasy Games
The Board of Directors of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SWFA) has voted to add Game Writing as a new Nebula Award category. The Nebulas and Hugos are the most prestigious awards in the science fiction and fantasy genres and the ...

Live Science

Hundreds of Tiny Terracotta Warriors Found Guarding 2100-Year-Old Chinese Site
Live Science
Inside a 2,100-year-old pit in China, archaeologists have discovered a miniature army of sorts: carefully arranged chariots and mini statues of cavalry, watchtowers, infantry and musicians. They look like a miniaturized version of the Terracotta Army ...

Lupus Science and Medicine™
Lupus Foundation of America
Lupus Science & Medicine™ is a peer-reviewed, open access, online journal that provides a central point for publication of basic, clinical, translational, and epidemiological studies of all aspects of lupus and related diseases. It is the first lupus ...

Science Daily

Primates of the Caribbean: Ancient DNA reveals history of mystery monkey
Science Daily
The research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (12 November 2018) and carried out by a team of experts from international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), London's Natural History Museum (NHM) ...

and more »

EurekAlert (press release)

Scientists shed light on semiconductor degradation mechanism
EurekAlert (press release)
Scientists at Nagoya Institute of Technology (NITech) and collaborating universities in Japan have gained new insights into the mechanisms behind degradation of a semiconductor material that is used in electronic devices. By highlighting the specific ...

Business Wire (press release)

Investigation and Design Can Improve Student Learning in Science and Engineering; Changes to Instructional ...
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
WASHINGTON – Centering science instruction around investigation and design can improve learning in middle and high schools and help students make sense of phenomena in the world around them. Current approaches to science in many classrooms do ...
National Science Teachers Association Advocates for High-Quality Elementary Science Education in New Position ...Business Wire (press release)

all 5 news articles »

Popular Science

California's forest management isn't the problem
Popular Science
As catastrophic fires rage in California, President Trump looked for someone to blame. In a series of tweets posted Saturday and Sunday, Trump faulted "gross mismanagement of the forests" for the wildfires, which have killed at least 31 people. The ...

and more »

The 'science' of destruction?
Science has given us the wonderful gift of knowledge but it has also given us chemicals which destroy the planet. The mention of the progress of science, brings to mind the horrifying images of hydrogen bomb explosions and other tragedies. Science must ...

Google News

home | site map | Xray Photography
© 2006