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Assisted Reproduction by numbers: 5 key figures

As our Making Babies in the 21st Century course gets started, discover the history of assisted reproduction through some key numbers.

As our Making Babies in the 21st Century course gets started, discover the history of assisted reproduction through some key numbers.

5lb 12oz

The birth weight of Louise Brown, the first baby born using in vitro fertilisation more commonly known as IVF. Although she was referred to as a ‘test tube baby’ she was actually conceived in a petri dish.  

the weight of the first baby born by IVF

5 million

Just 38 years after Louise Brown was born it’s astonishing that more than 5 million babies are estimated to have been born using IVF.

the number of babies born using IVF


Last year the first three parent baby was born using DNA from his parents and a small amount of genetic material of a donor. This process of ‘mitochondrial donation’ will ensure the new baby boy will be free of a genetic condition his mum carries.

the first baby born to three parents


After a round of IVF treatment often ‘spare’ embryos are carefully cooled and kept frozen at  so they could be implanted in future. They can be stored for decades if necessary.

the temperature frozen embryos are stored

£20-30 billion

The amount of money the global fertility industry is estimated to be worth – and it’s expected to group 4% every year mainly due to people becoming parents later in life. The market covers everything from sperm donation to IVF to reproductive surgery all the way to surrogacy.


Find out more about modern reproduction and explore the ethical dilemmas that new technology is raising – join Making Babies in the 21st Century today.

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