The Latin locution in vitro, which can be translated as “In the glass”, is accepted by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE). The expression is used to refer to what takes place in a laboratory through a experimental method.

In a test tube

What is done in vitro is usually carried out in a test tube. Usually the technique applies to reproduce in a controlled environment a process that, naturally, takes place in the interior of a living being.

In vitro laboratory substances

In vitro procedures are usually done in test tubes

In vitro fertilization

The best known resource of this class is the in vitro fertilization. Thanks to this assisted reproductive technique, it is achieved that a spermatozoon join a Ovum outside the woman’s body.

Many times in vitro fertilization is a solution to a problem of sterility. What is done is to extract oocytes of the ovary and then enable its fertilization in a liquid medium. Once he Ovum has already been fertilized, said zygote is transferred to the uterus to continue its development in the maternal womb until the moment of Birth.

To obtain the female gamete, a follicular puncture, which is done after ovarian stimulation. In the case of the male gamete, one can appeal to a biopsy testicular or to masturbation.

In vitro fertilization can be carried out in two ways. One possibility is that fertilization is done by injecting a sperm into the egg. Another alternative is to place many sperm cells surrounding an egg in a license plate cultivation.


It is the first step of in vitro fertilization, and is also known by the name of stimulation. It consists of administering certain medications to the woman to increase her egg production, the so-called fertility drugs. In general, women produce only one egg per month, and through superovulation this number is increased.

In order to study the state of the ovaries, the patient must attend different sessions of ultrasound transvaginally with some regularity. For the verification of the hormonal levels, on the other hand, they must do blood extractions.

Egg removal

This is the second step, in which a minor surgery is performed known as follicular aspiration with the aim of removing the ovules. To avoid any sensation of discomfort or pain, it is important that the woman receives a dose of pain relievers.

During the main part of the procedure, the doctor uses a very fine needle to reach the interior of the ovary through the vagina. This tool is connected to a suction device, necessary for the extraction of the ovules and the liquid, one by one. It must be repeated for the remaining ovary.

In some cases, it is possible that Colic after the intervention, although they usually disappear within a day. Even less frequent is the need to perform a pelvic laparoscopy for the removal of the ovum. Given the impossibility of producing eggs, there are donations.

In vitro pregnant woman

In vitro fertilization is an assisted reproductive technique


Although this term gives its name to the entire treatment, is actually the third step, and it occurs after insemination. For this, the best eggs are determined and the sperm are placed next to them. This is followed by storage in a special chamber, where the sperm is expected to fertilize the egg in a matter of hours.

If there is not much chance that this step will be completed successfully, then it is possible to resort to direct injection into the egg. It is worth mentioning that even in apparently favorable situations this measure is common as a preventive measure.