Successful IVF births reach five million

Five million IVF babies have been born since the era of assisted reproduction dawned in 1978, it has been calculated.

Scientists based the estimate on worldwide figures for IVF treatment cycles up to 2008, a conference in Istanbul heard. The pattern was extended to gauge how many more treatments took place over the next three years.

The cumulative number of IVF births stood at 4.6 million last year and is now said to have reached five million – a milestone representing a "moment of pride" for fertility scientists, according to a British member of the team that brought the first IVF baby into the world.