IVF: 40 years of changing lives

- In vitro fertilization, or IVF, has changed the lives of millions of couples since 1978. Before IVF, if a woman couldn't get pregnant her only option to have children was adoption.

But then came Louise Brown, who was born July 25, 1978—40 years ago—in England. Known as the first test-tube baby, she was born because of IVF.

She tweeted, "Today marks the 40th anniversary of IVF. Thank you to all the people who have sent good wishes."

Dr. Tomer Singer, a fertility specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital, said that every year about 200,000 women give birth in the United States after using IVF. So far, about 6 million babies around the world have been born after the fertility treatment.

The next frontier is using IVF to impregnate women who have had a uterus transplant. Dr. Singer said two successful uterine transplants have happened: one in Sweden and one in the United States.

Even more women would be getting IVF but most insurance companies don't cover it. Dr. Singer said about 40 percent of his patients are not covered.

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