IVF treatment and Test Tubes are both fertility treatment which helps many couples who cannot have a natural pregnancy, conceive successfully. Both the fertility treatments are carried out under extreme precision after thoroughly examining the health condition of a couple. 

What is the difference between IVF and test tube baby?

There is no major difference between IVF and test tube baby. The difference lies only in the usage of the terms. The term ‘test tube baby’ came into practice and was used much before medical treatment started referring to IVF or In-Vitro Fertilisation. The term ‘test tube baby’ was used decades ago while referring to the IVF treatment.

The two terminologies can be quite confusing and can lead a person to think that they are very different from one another. But, the truth is, there is no specific difference between IVF and test tube baby. When lab-assisted pregnancy was introduced, it was known by the name of test tube baby. Before people understood alpha terms such as IVF, the easiest way was to call the process a test tube baby. This was mainly because the fertilization took place in a close lab environment and in a test tube.

According to records, the first test tube baby was born on July 25th 1978. This was the foundation of fertility treatment which today has become a hope for millions of couples worldwide.

IVF is the modern version of test tube procedure. The usage of the term IVF as a medical treatment came into practice in the last decade or so. Whether you call it test tube baby or IVF pregnancy, the treatment has evolved to a remarkable extent since inception. All thanks to medical technologies and advances. 

Today, IVF has grown to be the most relied on treatment for couples who cannot conceive in a natural manner or for couples who have to deal with low sperm, poor egg quality, painful erection, trouble ovulating and so on. Fertility treatments like test tube baby and IVF are giant leaps in the history of medical science. Not just this; medical science has revolutionised the way IVF treatment work with much more intricate treatments like ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection), TESA (Testicular Epididymal Sperm Injection), PRP (Platelet-rich Plasma), and IMSI (Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection) along with IVF.

Who requires IVF or Test Tube Treatments?

Any individual or couple who face trouble to conceive or process a normal childbirth can rely on IVF or test tube treatments, unless there is no major underlying cause of the problem. 

Couples who face unexplained infertility, aged couples, those who have suffered multiple miscarriages, people who have low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, blockage in the fallopian tube can be benefitted by IVF treatments or what general people easily understand as the test tube baby process.

If the male partner suffers from painful erection, difficulty producing sperm, or has low sperm count, they can hire a sperm donor whose sperm can be used to fertilize with the eggs of the female partner.  

What is the procedure of IVF or test tube baby?

Step 1: Beginning of the treatment

This is the first official start of your IVF treatment. In this process, the donor basically tries to understand which is your day 1.

Step 2: Stimulation of ovaries

In a normal cycle, the ovaries produce one egg. But when your IVF treatment begins, the fertility specialist will give you medication so that the follicles in your ovaries can produce more eggs. This is done with either injection or medication. The specialist will keep a close observation on the progress of the follicles.

Step 3: Egg retrieval

This phase is also known as ‘egg pick up’. This is not a very long process. In this step, the doctor collects the mature eggs from the ovaries. This is performed under the influence of anesthesia. The specialist guides a needle into the ovaries to collect the eggs. Almost 8-15 eggs are collected in this process, on an average.

Step 4: Sperm preparation

Depending on several factors, the specialist decides whether to use fresh sperm or frozen sperm. If the couple wants fresh sperm, the male partners will have to provide a sperm sample on the day of the egg retrieval. If donor sperm or frozen sperm is used, the fertility specialist team will get it ready. The sperm will be washed to get rid of all the dirt. Once the team gets the healthy sperm, they will prepare it to meet with the eggs.

Step 5: Fertilization

The eggs and the sperm will be placed in a dish where they will be allowed to meet with each other. This is the artificial way of what naturally happens when sperm meets eggs in the human body. 

Step 6: Embryo development

The eggs will fertilize with the embryo and will develop into an embryo. The embryo will be placed in a special incubator and its development will be monitored for the next 4-6 days.

Step 7: Embryo transfer

During embryo transfer, the woman is asked to lie down in the lithotomy position with the legs spread. The doctor will open the cervix and, using a catheter, plant the embryo in the uterus. This process takes 10-15 minutes. But the patient is asked to keep lying for the next 30 minutes in the same position to facilitate the embryo to travel inside well. 

After these steps are done, the patient will be called for a blood test after 2 weeks. If the blood test detects the presence of HCG, it means that the pregnancy has been a success. 

Final note:

We are living in an age of medical advancements where technology has brought hopes for millions of infertile couples. The medical industry has several treatments and solutions which can enable a couple the immeasurable joys of parenthood.

In case you can sense any problems with your reproductive system, you can consult with the fertility specialists at Pristyn Care. Sooner the effective treatment, higher are the chances of successful conception. Delaying the treatment can only bring negative effects.

Speaking about the difference between IVF and test tube babies – there is no such difference. Both the treatments only differ by the name.