Louise Brown, a 25 year old postal worker from Bristol was in Cambridge on Saturday (25 July) to celebrate her birthday, sharing it with over 1,000 other guests.

Louise was the first baby born using in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), pioneered by Professor Bob Edwards in Cambridge during the 1960s and 70s. She was joined at the celebration, held at Bourn Hall clinic, near Cambridge, by over 1,000 other ‘test-tube’ babies.

Joining Louise as guest of honour was Professor Edwards, who received an honorary degree from the University of Cambridge in 2001 and is a Fellow of Churchill College. Professor Edwards, along with his partner, the late Patrick Steptoe, developed the technique of IVF in Cambridge before setting up a clinic in Oldham.

Since Louise’s birth on July 25 1978, IVF has allowed infertile couples in the UK to have nearly 70,000 children, 6,000 at Bourn Hall. It is estimated that over the 25 years there have been over one million ‘test-tube’ babies born worldwide. The success rate is currently about 27 per cent, up from 15 per cent a decade ago.

IVF children from Norway and quadruplets from Iceland were among those at the party. Leading fertility doctors from around the world attended a conference in London on Friday to mark the anniversary.

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