What is the full form of IVF?

One of the commonest questions which patients ask is, "What is the full form of IVF?"

And because there's so much medical jargon around IVF, doing IVF treatment can be quite intimidating.

Lets try to make sense of it by simplifying it. Now, IVF simply means In Vitro Fertilization, and the laypersons term for this is Test Tube Baby. In Vitro = inside glass = outside the human body, and what this means is that we fertilize your eggs and sperms in the lab, to make inside our test tubes ( which are actually plastic petri dishes). This means that all we are doing is assisting Nature , so that we are accomplishing what would have normally happened in your fallopian tubes in vivo ( inside your body) after having sex, by doing this in the IVF laboratory. Once we have made an embryo, we then put it back into your uterus, where it implants if all goes well. An IVF pregnancy is exactly like a normal pregnancy, so it is actually fairly straight forward to understand this.

Don't get confused by all the jargon which you come across, because sometimes doctors take perverse pleasure in making things so complicated that patients get scared , and very reluctant to ask questions. Its important that you understand the IVF process, because you must know exactly what you are expected to do, and should also be able to ensure that the doctor is doing everything properly by following best practices. This will ensure that you are in control , and can make sure that you get high quality medical care.

Leaving everything up to your doctor can be too expensive especially if you are unlucky and end up in a bad IVF clinic !

You can download the IVF comic book free at and this will help you make well-informed decisions !

Or you can send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you !

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.