Mothers with their 'test tube' babies, April 1986.
© Manchester Daily Express / Science & Society Picture Library
These thirteen women all gave birth at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester after IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatment. IVF is the fertilisation of egg and sperm outside the body. The world's first IVF baby was born in Britain on July 25, 1978. This procedure is now widely available to women who, because of infertility or other problems, would otherwise be unable to conceive. Dr Brian Lieberman (b 1942), head of the IVF unit at St Mary's says that 'The single most important factor in succesful IVF treatment is the age of the mother, that's followed by the duration of infertility. That more women are delaying having children has mitigated improvements in IVF.'