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Parents and their IVF babies born over the last four decades gathered in the grounds of BCRM’s clinic at Aztec West in Bristol to celebrate 40 years of ‘Made in Bristol’ babies.

The group was brought together through a public appeal by the clinic last year which aimed to find the earliest people conceived and born in Bristol as the result of IVF, and attendees included some ‘brave and remarkable pioneers’ according to BCRM’s medical director Valentine Akande

The party was attended by over 150 people, including current and retired practitioners as well as patients who underwent the then ground-breaking fertility treatment and many of their IVF babies, plus parents with much newer babies born thanks to assisted fertility treatment.

Although the world’s first test-tube baby Louise Brown, born in July 1978, had Bristolian parents and has lived in Bristol all her life, Louise was neither born nor conceived in the city - it was 1984 before the first IVF baby was conceived and born there.

The first fertility centre in Bristol, where the earliest IVF treatments took place, opened as the result of a joint research project between the University of Bristol and Southmead Hospital in 1983, and eventually evolved to become the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM).

BCRM is now one of the UK’s leading fertility clinics and the longest established in Bristol, helping people from throughout the Southwest and Wales with fertility treatment for both private and NHS patients. The new state of the art clinic is involved in innovative research and has one of the best success rates with IVF and other fertility treatments in the UK.

Statistics recently published by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology show the number of babies born worldwide through IVF as exceeding 12 million.

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