IVF stands for in vitro fertilization, which literally means “in lab conception”. With IVF treatment, the egg is fertilized with sperm in a petri dish. Typically, many eggs are retrieved from the biological mother (who may or may not be the intended parent), as not every egg will fertilize, and not every fertilized egg will become a viable embryo.
A few days after fertilization, the best embryo or embryos are transferred to the mother or surrogate’s uterus via a catheter through the cervix. Any extra embryos may be cryopreserved for future cycles.