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3 de January, 2024

Louise Brown, what about the first baby born by IVF?

Louise Brown is the world's first 'test tube baby', conceived by In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) on July 25, 1978 in Royton, England. His birth represented a milestone in the history of humanity and a new opportunity for millions of people around the world to fulfill their dream of becoming parents.

9 years looking to be parents

Louise Brown with her parents and sister Natalie, both born via In Vitro Fertilization.

The physiologist Robert Edwards, the gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and the embryologist Jean Purdy (which is why every July 25 is celebrated as Embryologist's Day in Mexico), were the medical team that made possible one of the most important births in all of history. of humanity, whose research was recognized with the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 2010.

The team met Louise's parents in 1976, who had been trying to get pregnant for 9 years due to tubal factor problems, as her mother had blocked fallopian tubes. In November 1977, preparations for the procedure would begin: ovarian stimulation, fertilization and implantation in the uterus, which nine months later would bring the first "test tube baby" into the world.

In Vitro Fertilization, a global hope

Robert Edwards, Patrick Steptoe and Jean Purdy holding Louise Brown on her birthday.

To date, more than 40 years after the birth of Louise Brown, more than 8 million babies have been born worldwide via In Vitro Fertilization, whose number is led by European countries, followed by the United States and Latin America.

Currently, around 2.5 million In Vitro Fertilization cycles are performed each year, resulting in around 500,000 births; which means that every hour 57 new babies are born via IVF around the planet.

However, this type of procedure, which is part of multiple techniques and treatments belonging to Assisted Reproduction, continues to cast some doubts and uncertainty, mainly due to the lack of education in terms of reproductive health; keeping these as a taboo subject, even in many parts of the world.

Louise Brown in the courtyard of her home in Bristol, UK.

How is the life of Louise Brown today?

One of the main unknowns regarding the first baby born via IVF in the world is precisely related to many of the doubts that persist regarding this type of procedure: What is the life of a person conceived through Assisted Reproduction techniques like?

Louise, 44, lives in the city of Bristol, England, her community of origin, with her two children, Cameron and Aiden, 15 and 8 years old respectively; who were born without the help of any Assisted Reproduction treatment.

“I have not had to go through that process. But I would have done it, without a doubt, if I had needed it”.

Explains Louise in an interview for El País in 2019.
Louise Brown holding her babies, Cameron and Aiden.

The woman whose birth was an extraordinary event, leads a relatively ordinary life in the south of the United Kingdom with her family, occasionally interrupted by television appearances and conferences around the world, helping to demonstrate that using Assisted Reproduction to create life should not be a taboo, and that science is the way for millions of people in the world to fulfill one of the most important dreams of their lives: to be parents.

“It is sad that 41 years after I was born it is still a taboo subject. There are many people who do not want to say it to their surroundings, who do not normalize it. It is a complex and hard stage, in which help is needed.”

Louise Brown for El País.
Louise Brown holding her babies, Cameron and Aiden.

Advances and new technology to have a baby with the help of Assisted Reproduction

After 40 years of the first birth via In Vitro Fertilization in the world, advances in this field have made it possible to increase the number of people who can rely on this type of treatment to grow their families, with an increasing probability of success.

Moms after 35 years

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Claudia and her son conceived via IVF - Mama Ingenes at 49 years old

The In Vitro Fertilization technique has been perfected at Ingenes thanks to multicycle treatments, with which we offer up to a 96% chance of having a baby. An option that has allowed thousands of women up to 50 years old to decide the right moment to become mothers, regardless of the biological clock issue.

ROPA method to be a mother with your female partner

Guadalupe and her partner carrying their baby, born via the ROPA Method -Ingenes Family

The ROPA Method of In Vitro Fertilization represents another giant step in the history of Assisted Reproduction, with the possibility of creating an embryo from the ovum of one of the women, which is implanted in the womb of the other to share her maternity at the same time. have a child that is both of them.

Sex selection

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Marilú and Karla with their baby Emilio, born via the ROPA Method with gender selection - Ingenes Family

Currently, it is possible to choose the sex of a baby conceived via In Vitro Fertilization, with up to 99% effectiveness, thanks to the Elijander technique (exclusive to Ingenes). This not only represents the possibility of having a child of the desired sex, but also reduces the risk of presenting genetic abnormalities specifically related to one or the other sex.

Avoid conditions like Down Syndrome and Turner Syndrome

María del Carmen carrying her babies born via IVF - Mama Ingenes

As women advance in their reproductive age, there is a greater probability of presenting genetic alterations in their embryos, which can cause future conditions that complicate the quality of life of a person in the future, such as Down Syndrome or Turner's Syndrome.

However, the current state of Assisted Reproduction technologies, have managed to have different chromosomal studies such as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Prenatal Diagnosis, to minimize these risks.

Louise Brown and the medical team made up of specialists in Medicine, Physiology and Embryology, among others; not only represents a before and after in the history of medicine and reproductive health, his research also served as the foundation for studies as important as stem cell studies.

Today, the first In Vitro baby or "test tube baby" dedicates her time to publicizing the milestone that represents her life and how science is a fundamental support for millions of people around the world, an opportunity to achieve one of the goals important in the lives of millions of people around the world: to create life.

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