What is a test-tube baby?

Sometimes, a man and a woman who want to have a baby have trouble conceiving. Many factors can contribute to a fertility problem, and sometimes medical science can help fix it. One solution to infertility is called in vitro fertilization. With this method a woman’s eggs are fertilized with a man’s sperm outside the woman’s body. Fertilization takes place in a laboratory, in a glass dish (not really a test tube). Once fertilization occurs and the fertilized eggs begin to grow, they are placed inside the woman’s uterus to develop further. Eventually a baby is born—and sometimes multiple babies are born if more than one of the fertilized eggs attaches to the uterus and develops fully. Children who originate from this method of fertilization are no different from other kids. They are simply children who began their lives outside of their mothers’ bodies.


Sometimes parents have a hard time having a baby in the usual way, so the mother has her egg fertilized in a laboratory using the father’s sperm. Then the fertilized egg is put back in the mom, where it grows in the womb naturally.


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