The country with the highest percentage of in vitro fertilization (IVF) babies is Greece, where about 1 in 17 babies is conceived via IVF. Statistically, that means an average of about one IVF baby per preschool class in Greece. The runner-up is Israel, where about 1 in 24 babies is conceived by IVF, followed by Denmark, Slovenia and Belgium, each of which has a rate of about 1 in 27 babies conceived via IVF.
More facts about IVF:
- The first IVF baby was Louise Brown, who was born in 1978 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Although her parents, Lesley and John, knew the IVF procedure was experimental, the doctors did not tell them that it had not yet resulted in a child carried to full term. Louise conceived her own son naturally in 1999.
- More than three million IVF babies have been born since 1978.
- Some studies suggest that children conceived via IVF have a higher risk for health problems later in life, though no concrete evidence has been gathered since all of the IVF babies are still relatively young. It is known, however, that babies conceived via IVF have a slightly higher chance of birth defects.