Over 5 Million Babies Born Thanks to Assisted Reproduction

Around 180,000 IVF babies are born each year in the UK but that’s nothing on the total born using assisted reproduction techniques (ART).

It was recently announced that the total the amount of babies born in the world using ART methods since 1978 – the year the first IVF baby was born – is 5 million.

Richard Kennedy, from the International Federation of Fertility Societies said: ‘The number of babies born through ART is now about the same as the population of a U.S. state such as Colorado, or a country such as Lebanon or Ireland. This is a great medical success story. 

IVF was pioneered by Sir Robert Edwards, who died earlier this year, and by Dr Patrick Steptoe. Their technique led to the birth of Louise Brown on July 25, 1978, at Oldham General Hospital.

The treatment involved an egg being removed from one of her mother’s ovaries with a probe before being mixed with her father’s sperm in a petri dish – not a test tube. The resulting embryo was implanted in Mrs Brown’s womb two days later.

Mrs Brown was not the first woman to become pregnant after IVF treatment, but none of the previous pregnancies had lasted for more than a few weeks.

Most remarkably, half of those 5 million IVF babies have been born in just the last six years, showing the growth and spread of the treatment created to help women who have trouble conceiving.

Scientists have been looking at new techniques to ensure healthier children. One controversial method, known as “three-parent IVF,” allows doctors to implant the mitochondria of the mother into an empty donor egg and then fertilise it with sperm from the father.

A UK child was recently the first to be born using an IVF technique called next generation sequencing, which allowed doctors to screen potential embryos for diseases and other problems.

Many of the 180,000 IVF babies born in the UK are actually conceived abroad due to the high cost of private healthcare in Britain. Body Bureau helps clients by sending them to their clinics in Lithuania, Poland and Czech Republic, recently voted top medical tourism destinations.

We also have a London clinic for consultations and preparation meaning patients only need to travel for the actual procedure, and are away for just 5-6 days. More information and prices here.

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