First test tube baby born on this day in 1978 to an infertile couple in Manchester

Forty-one years ago on this day, 25 July, the world's first test-tube baby was born in a Manchester hospital using in vitro fertilisation. Louise Joy Brown, a healthy baby girl, was delivered minutes before midnight by a Caesarian section. She weighed just 2.6 kilograms.

Louise was special on many levels, considering her parents, Lesley and Peter Brown had been trying to conceive a child for years. Her mother, Lesley Brown, was infertile. In November 1977, the couple decided to undergo an "experimental" procedure that showed promise for infertile couples: IVF.

In the process, a mature egg from one of the mother's ovaries was fused with her the father's sperm to create a zygote, which would turn into an embryo and a full-grown human someday provided everything went to plan. A few days after the procedure, the embryo was implanted into the mother's uterus.

 First test tube baby born on this day in 1978 to an infertile couple in Manchester

The first test tube baby, Lesley Brown, with her naturally conceived baby boy. Image credit: Press & Journal UK

The birth of the first test-tube baby made headlines world over, raising several legal and ethical questions about the procedure and what this meant for mankind, overruling the natural order.

Many years later, the couple went on to have a second daughter, Natalie, through IVF. In an incredible first, Natalie went on to become the first baby born through IVF to give birth to a child of her own. This put to rest growing concerns at the time that children conceived through IVF may not be able to conceive naturally or get pregnant naturally.

More recently, in December of 2006, the first test-tube baby Louise Brown gave birth to a boy, who also was conceived naturally.

Updated Date: Jul 25, 2019 09:01:13 IST