IVF – otherwise known as in vitro fertilisation – is a method of conception where the female egg cells are surgically removed and fertilised using male sperm outside of the womb (in vitro). IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilized egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient's uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. The first test tube baby was born in 1978.