This Week in HistoryThis Week in History: Week 30 (25 July 1978)

World's First Test Tube-Baby Is Born

Louise Brown, the world's first "test tube baby", is born in Manchester, England.

In 1978, the world's first "test tube baby", Louise Brown, was born in Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England. After "in vitro fertilization" (IVF) treatment, Louise's mother had an embryo of her egg and her husband's sperm implanted in her womb after it had been fertilized in a laboratory. The technique was pioneered by gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe and physiologist Robert Edwards. Since Louise's birth, over 1,000,000 babies worldwide have been born as a result of IVF treatment.

test tube baby (noun): a baby that is fertilized outside a woman's body
in vitro fertilization (noun): when female egg is fertilized by male sperm in a laboratory
embryo (noun): early stage of life after fertilization; stage before developing into a fetus
sperm (noun): the male reproductive cell
womb (verb): the place in a woman's body where a baby grows
fertilize (verb): provide sperm in order to create new life

Mini Quiz

1. After the embryo had been created by in vitro fertilization treatment, it was implanted into
a) Louise
b) Louise's mother
c) an IVF test tube

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2. Gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe and physiologist Robert Edwards made history by
a) giving birth to the world's first test tube baby
b) fertilizing Louise's mother
c) pioneering IVF treatment

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3. During in vitro fertilization treatment, a woman's egg is fertilized in a laboratory by
a) a man's sperm
b) an IVF test tube
c) a baby's embryo

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Contributor: Matt Errey creator of Word Up