Science has come a long way since 1978, when Louise Joy Brown, the world's first successful 'test-tube baby', was born.

Despite claims that these children were somehow going to be less natural, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has instead become mainstream, along with other methods to promote successful pregnancy. An aggregation of ten international reports tracking the use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) has led the International Committee for the Monitoring of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ICMART) to estimate that there have been 5 million babies born with the help of science and technology.

Though the first test-tube baby was born in 1978, by 1990 there had been an estimated 90,000 births worldwide and by the turn of the century, estimates put the number at approximately 900,000. By 2007, it was estimated over 2.5 million children had been born using ART and since then it is estimated that approximately 1.5 million babies have born using this country in countries who report their outcomes to ICMART, with another 900,000 in non-reporting countries.

In the US, about 1% of babies are born using IVF or another reproductive technology.

International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) Board member Richard Kennedy said, “This comprehensive report confirms that we now have over 5 million babies born through Assisted Reproduction. More than that, it shows that half of them have been born in the last 6 years. The number of babies born through ART is now about the same as the population of a U.S. state such as Colorado, or a country such as Lebanon or Ireland. This is a great medical success story.”

Presented at the International Federation of Fertility Societies  21st World Congress On Fertility and Sterility and the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.