Five million babies have now been born worldwide with the help of fertility treatment - half of them in the last six years.
The first ‘test tube baby’, Louise Brown, was born in 1978 and by 1990 there had been an estimated 90,000 births resulting from assisted reproductive technology (ART) worldwide.
By 2000, the figure stood at an estimated 900,000.
The first 'test tube baby', Louise Brown, was born in July 1978 at Oldham General Hospital. She is pictured with her parents and the nurses who cared for her
Since 2000, the number of births resulting from fertility treatment has rocketed and by 2007 it was estimated that more than 2.5 million children had been born using assisted reproductive technology.
Since 2007, it is believed that about 2.5 million babies have been born following fertility treatment, bringing the total to date to about five million, according to a report by the International Committee for the Monitoring of Assisted Reproductive Technology.
Richard Kennedy, from the International Federation of Fertility Societies said: ‘This comprehensive report confirms that we now have over five million babies born through assisted reproduction.
‘More than that, it shows that half of them have been born in the last six years.
‘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.
Since 2007, about 2.5 million 'test tube babies' have been born. Louise Brown (right with her son, Cameron) is pictured with Sir Robert Edwards, one of the pioneers of IVF, and her mother, Lesley Brown
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.
Now, about 180,000 IVF babies are born in Britain each year.
Following each cycle of IVF, a woman under the age of 35 has a 32 per cent chance of conceiving, a 35 to 37-year-old has a 28 per cent chance, a 38 to 39-year-old has a 21 per cent chance and a 40 to 42-year-old has a 14 per cent chance.
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