In light of the Alabama court ruling, a look at the science of IVF : Short Wave An Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos can be considered "extrauterine children" under state law has major implications for how in vitro fertilization, commonly called IVF, is performed. Since the first successful in vitro fertilization pregnancy and live birth in 1978, nearly half a million babies have been born using IVF in the United States. Reproductive endocrinologist Amanda Adeleye explains the science behind IVF, the barriers to accessing it and her concerns about fertility treatment in the post-Roe landscape.

Read more about the science of IVF.

Questions or ideas for a future episode of Short Wave? Email us at shortwave@npr.org — we'd love to hear from you!

In light of the Alabama court ruling, a look at the science of IVF

In light of the Alabama court ruling, a look at the science of IVF

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Blastocyst illustration. A blastocyst is a hollow ball of cells with a fluid centre formed after several divisions of a fertilised cell (zygote). The inner cell mass (purple) contains the cells that will form the embryo proper, the embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library/Getty Images hide caption

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Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Blastocyst illustration. A blastocyst is a hollow ball of cells with a fluid centre formed after several divisions of a fertilised cell (zygote). The inner cell mass (purple) contains the cells that will form the embryo proper, the embryonic stem cells (ESCs).

Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Since the first successful in vitro fertilization pregnancy and live birth in 1978, nearly half a million babies have been born using IVF in the United States. Since the first successful in vitro fertilization pregnancy and live birth in 1978, nearly half a million babies have been born using IVF in the United States. Reproductive endocrinologist Amanda Adeleye explains the science behind IVF, the barriers to accessing it and her concerns about fertility treatment in the post-Roe landscape.

For more on IVF success rates, check out the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology's database.

Questions or ideas for a future episode of Short Wave? Email us at shortwave@npr.org — we'd love to hear from you!

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This episode was produced by Berly McCoy and Rebecca Ramirez. It was edited by Brit Hanson and Rebecca Ramirez. Brit checked the facts. The audio engineer was Josh Newell.