Coordination and Control - Artificial Control of Fertility

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Article Index
Coordination and Control
Hormones
Menstrual Cycle
Control of Fertility
All Pages

 

The Artificial Control of Fertility

Hormones can be used to control fertility

Oral contraceptives (the pill) contain hormones which stop the production of FSH so that no eggs mature.  Contraceptive pills often contain oestrogen which blocks the production of FSH.

pill

A pack of contraceptive pills.

FSH may be given to woman as a fertility drug.  A woman's own level of FSH may be too low to stimulate eggs to mature and giving extra FSH may help her to become pregnant.

In vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

IVF ('test-tube' babies) involves giving a mother FSH to stimulate the maturation of several eggs and LH to stimulate the release of these eggs.  The eggs are collected from the mother and mixed with sperm from the father in a glass petri dish.  The fertilised eggs develop into embryos.  At the stage when the are tiny balls of cells, two or three embryos are inserted into the mother's womb.  The woman can then undergo a normal pregnancy.

ivf

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