A test-tube baby is no different from any other baby. But instead of beginning to grow inside its mother’s womb, it begins its life outside, in a special glass dish called a test-tube. An ovum (egg) is taken from the woman and is fertilized with the man’s sperm in a dish. Then the fertilized egg is replanted in the mother’s uterus where it grows for nine months and then takes birth as well a well-developed child.
Fertilization of an ovum with a sperm outside the woman’s body us called invitrofertilization technique. This technique was perfected by a team of British doctors Dr. Robert Edwards and Patrik Steptoe after a research of few years.
Technique of invitrofertilization is useful for a woman whose fallopian tubes are very narrow and male sperm can not reach the woman’s ovum making fertilization impossible. It is also useful to a lady whose husband does not have the required concentration of the sperms in his semen.
In 1978,one Mrs. Brown had the distinction of giving birth to the world’s first ‘test-tube baby’ Louise Brown – a female child. After the birth of this child, there have been many test-tube twins and triplets. Smt. Nirupama of India gave birth to a test-tube baby in 1986. The first test-tube baby in USA was born in 1981.
The biggest advantage of this technique is that the sex of the child is known in advance and the sex of the foetus could be selected at will. This technique has brought a ray of hope for those parents who are not able to produce child in a normal way.