©Wellcome Library, London

Collecting eggs for IVF

During the 1990s, techniques were developed for harvesting eggs vaginally rather than introducing a laparoscope into the abdomen. In this illustration, a surgeon uses the transvaginal technique to collect eggs from a woman lying on an operating table. On the surgeon's right, a relay of assistants pass the eggs to the doctor on the left who fertilises them with a syringe containing sperm from the father.

Lithograph by Virginia Powell, London.