Today marks 40 years since my conception on 10 November 1977!
Following many years of incredible work by Prof Robert Edwards and Dr Patrick Steptoe, they pioneered a technique that would allow my parents to have me and to go on to give millions of other couples the chance to have children.
The media have been getting very excited over the last few weeks as the 40th anniversary of the very first successful IVF procedure came around.
For me it has been a particularly strange time as those cells that divided in a petri dish at a cottage hospital near Oldham on November 10, 1977 became me!
There have been dozens of requests for interviews and, in one session with four national newspaper journalists, I was asked about the way that the NHS operates in the UK in regard to IVF.
Because the service has only a certain amount of money decisions are made in different areas on where to spend that money.
It depends on where you live in the UK on whether you can get IVF treatment or how many goes you might get under the state scheme.
Of course if you have money then there are many excellent IVF clinics available.
I simply pointed out how devastating it is for couples to be told there is no help they can be given and how unfair it is that it depends on where you live as to whether you can get IVF treatment or how much you have to pay. That situation is also the same in the USA where some insurance covers IVF but most don’t. It is also the same across Europe where access to IVF treatment varies enormously across EU countries.
My mum and dad were quite poor, in fact when they first got together they were sleeping rough in a railway carriage. Bob Edwards, who pioneered the technique, was keen that it should be something that all people could benefit from – not just those who could afford it.
I am lucky enough to meet so many people around the world working hard to help infertile couples have a baby.
Everyone knows it does not always work and my heart goes out to those who remain childless despite trying IVF. But everyone does deserve to at least have some hope of a child.
Of course when money is tight organisations like the NHS have to make tough decisions on where the money is spent. Infertility is often caused by a medical condition or physical problem that can be overcome by the right treatment and I support those people campaigning for it to be available as widely as budgets will allow.
To watch more about Louise Brown, and her parents’ incredible story, in her own words דריק דא
To read Louise’s wonderful book, on her parents journey and how it has been being the World’s first IVF baby, click here to order your copy