Forty years on from the media sensation of her birth, interest in the world’s first test-tube baby Louise Brown continues unabated.
Visiting four continents as an ‘ambassador’ for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) this year alone, Louise continues to be headline news across the globe.
Now, to mark the 40thanniversary of her birth, a special edition of her 2015 biography, including a new chapter and new photographs, has been published in paperback.
Louise Brown 40 Years of IVF: My Life As The World’s First Test-Tube Babyreveals the impact of being in the media spotlight and her lifelong connection with the IVF community.
“The past three years have been a complete whirlwind,” said Louise, “and I’m delighted that the new edition brings my story up to date. It’s been non-stop. People see me and my family as the catalyst for IVF techniques that have revolutionised fertility treatment.
“I get invites from all over the world and have met with embryologists, IVF doctors and nurses, couples – even the first IVF baby born in the USA, Elizabeth Carr. I hope by sharing my story I can reach out to others and be an inspiration for the millions of families struggling with the challenge of infertility today.”
Her late parents Lesley and John became the first people to successfully undergo IVF after attempts to conceive naturally failed.
More than 5 million people [Science Museum release now says 6 million] worldwide have now been born through IVF but in July 1978 when Louise was born it was a sensation with moral and ethical questions in the media and across society.
“IVF is now accepted without question in this country as a way to overcome fertility problems,” added Louise, who is married with two children of her own.
“It wasn’t always like that and my family had to face political and religious objections when actually all Mum and Dad wanted was a baby. The world has changed and we now have same sex couples having children through IVF techniques.”
As a baby Louise toured Japan, the USA, Canada and Ireland clocking up 29,425 miles in an aeroplane before she was six months old.
Steptoe and Edwards are central to Louise’s story and her relationship with them is a remarkable story.
The birth of Louise has been ranked alongside man landing on the moon as one of the most significant events for mankind in the 20thcentury.
Louise Brown 40 Years of IVF: My Life As The World’s First Test-Tube Babyin paperback was written in conjunction with Louise’s long-term media agent Martin Powell, and published by Bristol Books.