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The end of reproductive sex?

Improvements in IVF mean the procedure could—in theory—become the default means of human reproduction

By Philip Ball  

Embargoed to 2300 Sunday July 2 File photo dated 23/1/2016 of a mother holding the feet of a new baby. A sugar daddy might not be the best choice of partner for a young woman wanting children, research suggests.

While babies have been born by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) for four decades now, this form of assisted reproduction is still in its infancy. Give it several decades more and things could look very different indeed.

At present, it remains a difficult, uncomfortable and uncertain process. A woman’s egg production must be stimulated artificially with hormones, while other drugs are needed to suppress the menstrual cycle. Egg collection is painfully invasive, and fertilisation by sperm “in a test tube” doesn’t guarantee good-quality (or indeed any)…

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