1978 – World’s first “test tube” baby born


On July 25, 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.

Before giving birth to Louise, Lesley Brown had suffered years of infertility due to blocked fallopian tubes. In November 1977, she underwent the then-experimental IVF procedure. A mature egg was removed from one of her ovaries and combined in a laboratory dish with her husband’s sperm to form an embryo. The embryo then was implanted into her uterus a few days later. Her IVF doctors, British gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and scientist Robert Edwards, had begun their pioneering collaboration a decade earlier. Once the media learned of the pregnancy, the Browns faced intense public scrutiny. Louise’s birth made headlines around the world and raised various legal and ethical questions.

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Citation Information

Article Title

World’s first “test tube” baby born

AuthorHistory.com Editors

Website Name

HISTORY

URL

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/worlds-first-test-tube-baby-born

Access Date

July 24, 2022

Publisher

A&E Television Networks

Last Updated

July 23, 2020

Original Published Date

March 12, 2010

SCIENCEMEDICINE

BY

 HISTORY.COM EDITORS