Source : Independent .co.uk
"Today is my 40th birthday. Like most people, I would probably rather keep that fact to myself.
But, around the world, the celebration of my birthday will also see celebrations that mark the 40th anniversary of IVF – the procedure that led to my birth.
New research released last month claims there have been eight million people born through IVF since its invention. An exhibition at the Science Museum, London, talks of six million – nobody is really sure of the exact numbers as there are babies being born every day now through assisted reproductive techniques.
When I was born, Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, the two men who came up with the technique, suggested my middle name be Joy. They said my birth would bring joy to so many people.
Forty years, and millions of babies later, many will agree they were right."
IVF in its many forms brings hope for people in despair that they will never have a child. So many things have changed in the decades that have gone by, but the desire for couples to have babies has not. My mum, Lesley Brown, went to the doctor suffering from depression. At the heart of it was her inability to have a child with my dad, John.
When they heard about this experiment it gave them hope. Even though it had never worked before it was something to cling on to – and happily led to me being born. Later it worked for them again, with my sister Natalie being born in 1982 – by then the 40th in the world. That same journey is there for couples today and thanks to the pioneers the road is easier to travel than ever.
For women intending to undergo IVF treatment using frozen eggs, the younger they are when they are frozen the greater the chance of a successful pregnancy, according to a report by the UK’s independent fertility regulator. Most IVF treatment cycles use fresh eggs, but a very small number use eggs that have been frozen and thawed. It can, for example, be especially beneficial for cancer patients who decide to freeze their eggs before undergoing chemotherapy. The report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) looked at data from UK fertility clinics from 2010 to 2016, and found that the key factor for successful pregnancies is the age at which women freeze their eggs.t.