Difference between test tube baby and ivf

If you are seeking infertility treatment, you have probably heard about the term IVF and test tube baby. But you might be confused that what is the difference between the two. So, the answer to the question is that there is no difference between a test tube baby and IVF.

In other words, the two mean the same thing because they are interchangeably used to describe the same treatment, In vitro fertilization (IVF)

Test tube baby is an alternative to IVF treatment and is a non-medical term. The test tube baby or IVF procedure is an assisted reproductive technique that helps many infertile couples conceive their babies in vitro.

In this, an embryo is formed in a test tube instead of the woman’s fallopian tube; that’s why the term test tube baby came into being. IVF fertilization is done outside the uterus in a petri dish by combining the female egg and sperm. Therefore, IVF and Test Tube baby are the same, there is no difference.

 What is IVF?

Depending on the situation, IVF treatment can either use as: –

IVF and test tube baby
  • Woman’s eggs and her partner’s sperm
  • Woman’s eggs and donor’s sperm
  • Woman’s partner’s sperm and donor eggs
  • Donor eggs and donor sperm
  • Donated embryos

How is IVF Done?

Conceiving a baby through IVF is a long process that takes some time. Initially, the doctor checks for the ovarian reserve and does all other checks. Then ultrasound sonography is performed to check the condition of the ovaries and uterus. A five-step procedure begins once all the legal and emotional issues are assessed.

1. Stimulation

In the first step, fertility drugs are given to the patient to get multiple eggs. The patient care is under the doctor’s observation to access the response of regular blood tests and USG at regular intervals.

2. Egg Retrieval

Egg retrieval is a surgical process processed after giving anesthesia. A needle is inserted into the woman’s ovary, and the egg is removed from the follicle through suction. Follicular aspiration is another name for this process.

3. Insemination

Insemination is mixing the sperm from the semen sample with the egg in a petri dish. And overnight, sperm fertilizes the egg.

4. Culture of the Embryo

The embryologist in a laboratory constantly monitors whether the egg is fertilized and develops into an embryo. In this stage, embryos also undergo genetic testing.

5. Transferring the Embryo

After three to five days of fertilization, the embryo is implanted into the woman’s uterus using a catheter. And after six to ten days, pregnancy takes place in the embryo.

Why is IVF and Test Tube Baby Performed?

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is done to help those couples who cannot conceive naturally because of specific reproductive health issues. And also, for whom the other fertility treatments tried have failed to work.

There can be multiple reasons for not being able to conceive naturally, such as an unhealthy or sedentary lifestyle.

This process also reduces the chance of passing on genetic disorders as the embryo can be tested for specific congenital abnormalities. Some of the most common reasons for couples to choose IVF include: –

  • Blocked or Damage Fallopian Tubes
  • Unexplained Fertility
  • Endometriosis
  • Decreased Ovarian Reserve
  • Severe Male factor infertility
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Women over the age of 40
  • Male Infertility

Other than scientific and non-scientific names of the same process, there is no difference between IVF and test tube baby.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In this treatment, the embryo is created in a test tube rather than a woman’s fallopian tube, so the phrase test tube is used. A petri dish is used to fertilize the egg, so the term is in-vitro, which means within a living body.

The cost of IVF varies from clinic to clinic and depends upon multiple factors such as the number of cycles, cause of infertility, drugs prescribed etc. However, in India, the cost of IVF or test tubes can range from Rs.100000 to Rs. 250000.


Therefore, there is no difference between IVF and test tube baby. They are only the scientific and non-scientific names given for the same process. IVF treatment is getting increasingly popular because of the rising number of infertility cases.

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