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in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

Is There Any Difference Between IVF and Test Tube Baby?

  • 4.8 (6 Votes)

'IVF' and 'Test Tube Baby' are different names for the same fertility treatment. With more sophisticated equipment and techniques like ICSI, TESA and MESA. IVF can be termed as the improved version of the test tube baby. IVF procedure and test tube baby do not have any differences and the same process happens in the laboratory in both the cases.

Two completely different names can sometimes be confusing and one may tend to think that test tube baby and IVF treatment are two different types of fertility treatments but you should know that there is no specific difference between IVF and test tube baby procedure. The term, Test Tube Baby was used in the previous century, at the time of the introduction of this fertility treatment. The first 'test tube baby' was born in the year 1978 on 25th July. Two individuals, a scientist and a doctor, named Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe performed the procedure successfully and came to be known as the pioneers of IVF technology. This instance laid the foundation of fertility treatment, back then. Robert Edwards received a Nobel Prize in the year 2010 for the development of In Vitro Fertilization procedure.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure is the modern version of test tube baby procedure. Since the last few years, DNA sequencing technology is utilized for deciding the usage of the best embryos for the fertilization step along with the sperms of the male partner.

Since its introduction in the late 1970s, IVF or Test Tube Baby technology has evolved to a remarkable extent within last few years with many additional technologies added to it. From assisting those who are unable to conceive naturally through In Vitro Fertilization, IVF has come a long way in assisting patients with various medical conditions like azoospermia, low sperm and egg quality and so on. It can be looked upon as a giant leap from the times when it was only limited to one single process to the present day where the chances of pregnancy are improved in people with various fertility issues through the use of technologies like Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI), Testicular Epididymal Sperm Injection (TESA), Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) along with IVF. These technologies have revolutionized the way IVF works in the modern times. Here, in this blog, you will find useful information regarding IVF or test tube baby whatever you may call it!

Who requires test tube baby or IVF procedure?

IVF can be trusted to yield good results with success rates as high as 60%. The success rate of IVF treatment varies from a couple to the couple because of different medical complications. Here are some of the cases in which your gynecologist/fertility specialist may recommend test tube baby or IVF.

1- Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes

This is one of the most common reasons, which lead to the requirement of IVF procedure. In these cases, it is difficult to operate and fix the damage in the fallopian tube. So, IVF is recommended to the patients for conceiving a baby successfully.

2- Low quality and number of sperm

Male infertility is a major contributor to the inability of many couples to conceive successfully. Your doctor may ask the male partner to go through semen analysis test to reveal details concerning his sperm count, sperm quality, sperm volume as well as motility (movement).

3- Problem in ovaries or ovarian dysfunction

Other reasons for the recommendation of IVF procedure is reduced ovarian functionality, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) as well as issues related to advancing age like decreased egg quantity.

test tube baby or ivf procedure

What is the procedure of IVF and test tube baby?

With the clarity of both the processes being the same, let us have a look at how modern-day IVF treatment works. IVF or so-called test tube baby has a series of steps. In fact, In-Vitro fertilization procedure utilizes the latest technology including DNA sequencing technology for the improved success of the respective case. The IVF procedure steps are followed in a proper sequence for the successful completion of the treatment to achieve the successful pregnancy.

Important steps of IVF prior to starting as well as during the procedure are as follows:

1. Administration of infertility drugs and injections

Before starting with the IVF procedure, various infertility drugs and injections are advised to the patients. The patients are briefed on the schedule of medications. This helps the body to adapt to the possible upcoming pregnancy in the near future. Drugs like Clomid are used on a regular basis for the release of the eggs from the ovaries. Clomifene Citrate, Metformin, Gonadotropins are also used from time to time during the in-vitro fertilization treatment. These drugs ensure that the eggs are stimulated and matured for the successful fertilization with sperm. Blood test and transvaginal ultrasound are frequently carried out to check the ovaries along with the monitoring of hormones.

2. Egg retrieval

The egg retrieval step involves drawing eggs out of the ovaries of the female partner. This step is a sensitive one and it is done with the help of an infertility specialist. The entire step takes around 20-30 minutes. After this, the patient is asked to wait in the clinic/hospital itself for at least an hour or two. At the time of egg retrieval, the gynecologist uses transvaginal ultrasound probe. This helps in viewing the ovary and follicles present in it directly. He/she can observe the movement of the follicles from the ovaries. This minor procedure is known as "follicular aspiration". A needle attached to a suction device is inserted into the ovary. The force created due to the suction effect leads to the removal of the follicles from the ovaries.

egg retrieval

3. Fertilization and embryo selection

After retrieving the eggs from the ovary, it is combined with the sperm separated from the semen taken from the male partner. In fertilization, the eggs retrieved from the ovaries are kept along with the sperms in a temperature-controlled chamber. This helps the sperm to enter into the eggs and lead to the process of fertilization. It is to be noted that fresh sperm and frozen sperm are both equally effective for the successful fertilization of eggs. Embryo selection is done with the utmost care to ensure that only the best quality and ideal embryo is chosen.

4. Endometrial Receptivity Analysis (ERA)

Endometrial receptivity analysis is the test in which the ability of endometrium (internal lining of the uterus) to accept the embryo for the implantation is determined. This test basically involves probing of 236 endometrial receptivity genes. These genes are hybridized with RNA (Ribonucleic acid). Here, the time period, which is required for the implantation of the embryo on the walls of the uterus, is also important. Computerized prediction is made and marks the results as 'receptive' or 'non-receptive'. It also decides that when the embryo transfer has to be done in each case of IVF treatment.

5. Embryo Transfer

After the embryo selection and endometrial receptivity analysis, it is the most important step, which involves transferring the embryo inside the uterus. Only one embryo is implanted in the uterus of the woman. But then at times, when the reproductive endocrinologist does not find an ideal type of embryo, more than one embryo can also be transferred. In every case, the couple is well informed about what is being done.

Thus, no matter what you may call it, IVF or test tube baby is the technology that has developed over the time and has made various advancements and additions with the better results. So, if you planning to expand your family by choosing IVF treatments, IVF can surely help you.

Check out the Best gynecologists in India with Highest Review RatingsYou can also contact Ela Specialists at +917899912611 to know more about the fertility treatments.

Dr. Deepika Tiwari

About The Author

Obstetrician Dr. Deepika Tiwari

Dr. Deepika Tiwari is an infertility specialist and obstetrician who specializes in Normal vaginal delivery, Cervical cerclage, Infertility treatments, Urinary Incontinence Treatment and Gynecology problems. Dr. Deepika completed MBBS and MS in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the year 2003 and 2008 respectively. Dr. Deepika is a member of Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI). Presently, Dr. Deepika Tiwari is practicing her expertise at HCL Healthcare Clinic, Sector 54, Gurgaon and Cloudnine Clinic, Sector 56, Gurgaon. For more information about Dr. Deepika Tiwari, visit


  1. Repeated ivf failures, common causes and tips to prevent it IVF treatment, Elawoman - 2017
  2. Test tube baby - frequently asked questions test tube baby procedure, Elawoman - 2018
  3. Worlds first test tube baby - the story behind it test tube baby, Elawoman - 2018
  4. Treatments used for infertility issues in couples In vitro fertilization, Elawoman - 2017
  5. Embryo development stages embryos, Elawoman - 2017
  6. Causes, diagnosis and treatment of azoospermia azoospermia, Elawoman - 2018
  7. What is icsi (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) treatment? Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, Elawoman - 2018
  8. What is imsi (intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection)? Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection, Elawoman - 2018
  9. What is tesa (testicular epididymal sperm aspiration)? TESA, Elawoman - 2018
  10. When to see a gynecologist or fertility specialist fertility specialist, Elawoman - 2018



Anuska Iyer

I was about to go for IVF treatment after failing first IUI procedure. I was concerned about the cost and treatment procedures but once I spoke to Elawoman on the phone I was very happy to know that besides the understanding of the procedures they also provide medical loans.

Oct. 31, 2018, 9:13 a.m. 4.5


Drishti Sharma

I never thought I would get so much selfless support from Elawoman. They helped me understand my case of infertility and suggested some of the best IVF clinics in the city. Elawoman team seemed very experienced by the way they answered my questions. Definitely a 5-star service.

Oct. 7, 2018, 4:27 p.m. 5.0


Avantika Sharma

My sister was worried about going through the IVF treatment due to some complications involved but with the help and emotional support of Elawoman, she is now ready to go through the entire procedure of IVF treatment. Thank You Elawoman for helping her out.

Sept. 25, 2018, 11:44 a.m. 5.0


Divya Mirza

Ela woman did a very good job of helping me understand my case of infertility, IVF treatment, and its costs. Will definitely suggest Elawoman to every infertility patient. Thank You Elawoman for your support.

Sept. 22, 2018, 5:16 p.m. 4.5


Devansh Rao

All my confusion and doubts about IVF and test tube baby are now over, thanks for helping me out.

Sept. 14, 2018, 12:33 p.m. 5.0


Swarup Mangeshkar

Sept. 4, 2018, 5:18 p.m. 4.5

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