Difference between Surrogacy and Test Tube Baby

Every woman has a common dream to enjoy motherhood. But poor lifestyle factors impact a lot on the human reproductive system. Therefore, couples are often facing infertility issues. Women experience difficulty conceiving naturally after one year of unprotected regular intercourse. Clinically this health problem is termed infertility. Approximately 50 million couples across the world are struggling to solve their infertility issues. This problem can only solve by seeking medical help and consulting with doctors without any hesitation. 

Surrogate Vs test-tube baby

Surrogacy and test-tube baby is two incredible innovation of reproductive medical science. Both of these infertility treatments come under assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART experts can only suggest which of the infertility treatment helps to solve their problem depending upon the individual patient’s condition. 

Although nowadays, the general population is heard about surrogacy and test-tube baby, very few of them know the difference between these medical procedures. The following paragraphs help to understand the difference between these two reproductive techniques. 

Test tube baby

Test tube baby is clinically termed as in-vitro-fertilization (IVF). Normally, the fertilization of eggs and sperm is completed within the female reproductive system. But in the IVF technique, fertilization is achieved inside a glass tube. Therefore, in general, this process is known as “Test Tube Baby”. In this process, an infertile woman is kept under medical supervision. Medications are recommended till the time she produces mature eggs. Then doctor performs an egg retrieval process to remove the mature eggs. Mix them with sperm (collected from the intended father or donor) in a specialized container (test tube) in a laboratory set-up for fertilization for few days. The embryo formed in the laboratory container is termed a test tube baby. 

After few days of observation of the embryo, the doctor places the healthy embryo in the mother’s womb for implantation and further development. This process is known as embryo transfer. If every step of the process goes well, then the pregnancy result will be positive and obtain a successful result. 

The involvement of a third party in a test tube baby depends upon the couple’s reproductive health. If both the partners produce and release sufficient good quality eggs and sperm, then no need to involve donors. They produce baby also has a biological relationship with their parents. But in case either of the intended parents unable to produce gametes, then donor helps is a must. In such cases, the baby has a partial biological relationship with his/her parents. 


In surrogacy, third-party involvement is a must. In this process, a willing infertile couple hires a surrogate mother to carry their baby during gestation. Surrogacy is recommended for those infertile couples whose female partner unable to carry a baby due to her medical condition. Surrogacy is two types – traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the egg is collected from the surrogate mother. Therefore, the born child has biological relation with the surrogate mother, not her intended mother. However, many countries ban traditional surrogacy nowadays. However, in gestational surrogacy, eggs are either collected from the intended mother or donor. Therefore, the born child has no biological relationship with the surrogate mother in gestational surrogacy.

In this process, the egg is retrieved from the intended mother and fertilized with the sperm of the intended father through the IVF process. Therefore, the formation of a test tube baby is an integral part of gestational surrogacy. After the formation of the test tube baby, it further transfers to the surrogate’s womb for further development. In surrogacy also donor egg or donor sperm may require depending upon the patient’s condition. 

Know more about: Surrogacy

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