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2. PREPARING EGGS


Dr. Sher uses ultrasound to check a patient's ovaries. The patient used drugs to make her produce a large quantity of eggs. When they are mature enough, Sher will remove as many as 20 eggs for fertilization in a glass dish. In vitro literally means "in glass."


        
Dr. Sher retrieves a patient's eggs. Using ultrasound to watch what he's doing, Sher inserts a needle through the vaginal wall and into the ovary. Fluid and eggs flow down a narrow hose into a test tube. The room is dimly lit because sperm and eggs are accustomed to living in dark places.


        
The screen shows a magnified image of a patient's ovaries during egg retrieval. The large dark pockets are follicles which hold mature eggs. As Dr. Sher draws the fluid and eggs out of them, they collapse.


        
Embryologist Lisa Standing cleans eggs, separating them from the tissue drawn from a patient's ovaries as a byproduct of the retrieval.


        
Standing puts cleaned eggs into a dessicator.


        
Doctors usually transfer only four or five embryos to a woman's uterus after in vitro fertilization to avoid the risk of large multiple pregnancies. IVF often results in extra embryos, so couples have them frozen for later use. A lab worker shows rods that hold tiny embryos. They're kept in a tank filled with a cryopreservative.



Next: Preparing Sperm

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