World’s First IVF Baby Celebrates 41st Birthday

“My hope for the future of IVF is that it is accessible and affordable to everybody that needs to use it.”
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ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Jul 2019
birthday cake with confetti sprinkles
Photo: iStock

When Britsh baby Louise Brown was born exactly 41 years ago today, the whole world was watching. Her parents, Lesley and John, were the first couple to ever give birth to a baby through methods other than two people having sex. As the first-ever in vitro fertilization baby, little Louise’s birth was marked with worldwide fame. Her birth story rocked the world, and for as many people as there were who celebrated her family’s story, there were even more who criticized her parents for making this groundbreaking choice.

Luckily, a lot has changed in four decades, and Louise and her parents helped pave the way for new kinds of fertility treatments. Even today, she remains a symbol of hope for the many couples who have relied on IVF to start families of their own.

To celebrate her 41st birthday, Louise sat down with Ferring Pharmaceuticals to reflect on her family’ journey, and how the face of fertility has changed over the course of the last 40 years.

Like many families, her parents struggled TTC. It was an emotional blow that affected their wellbeing, especially, Lesley’s. “They tried for 10 years to have a baby, which didn’t happen, so mum went to the doctors with depression. The doctor said her inability to conceive was the cause of it,” Louise explains during the interview.

IVF opened up a world of possibilities for the couple, and ultimately changed the entire landscape of their lives. “Before mum died, she said she wouldn’t have had a family without IVF. She wouldn’t have had sons-in-law, she wouldn’t have grandchildren,” she reflects. “It isn’t just about the baby; it’s about families. It’s really important that people get the chance.”

IVF did so much more for Lesley and John than simply making them parents. In addition to giving them a family and a legacy, it also did the same for millions of people across the world. “My hope for the future of IVF is that it is accessible and affordable to everybody that needs to use it.”

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