• Louise Brown, dubbed a "test tube baby" was the first baby born using IVF. (AAP)
It's been 40 years since the world's first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was conceived in the UK.
Source:
AAP - SBS Wires
10 Nov - 11:36 AM  UPDATED 10 Nov - 12:11 PM

On November 10, 1977, exactly 40 years ago, British woman Lesley Brown, who with husband John had been trying to conceive for nine years, fell pregnant after undergoing in-vitro fertilisation.

Nine months later, their daughter Louise was born - the first baby born following IVF.

Six million babies have been born thanks to the technique, pioneered by British scientist Robert Edwards and obstetrician Patrick Steptoe.

Now the world's first "test tube baby" says she hopes families who undergo cutting-edge fertility treatments - such as "three parent" babies - aren't subject to the same harassment her family received after pioneering IVF.

RELATED STORY:
Hopping mad: critics slam 'breed like rabbits' government health clip
Poland's rightwing government has critics hopping mad over a public health video clip encouraging Poles to 'breed like rabbits', as the EU country faces sharp population decline.

Louise Brown says her family was bombarded with hate mail after she was born.

In an interview with the Press Association, Brown said she was still subject to "cruel and ill-informed" comments online from time to time.

She hopes people who undergo today's pioneering fertility treatments - such as mitochondrial replacement therapy - don't suffer the same negativity.

Brown, a clerk said: "People put cruel and ill-informed comments on the internet just about whenever there is a story about me. But I just ignore it."

Asked whether she thought families who use the "three-person baby" technique will get similar mail, she replied: "I hope they don't."

The world's first three-parent baby was born last year. Abrahim Hassan, whose Jordanian mother was treated by a US team in Mexico, was conceived from an egg containing DNA from his mother and father, and a tiny amount of mitochondrial DNA from a third person - a female donor.

The aim was to prevent Abrahim inheriting defective mitochondria, rod-like batteries in cells, that could give him Leigh syndrome - a fatal nervous system disorder.

Brown says her sons Cameron, 10, and Aiden, four, were conceived naturally, adding: "If I had needed it I would have tried IVF."

"Sometimes it is scary to think that my birth led to all this, but I try not to think about it too much. I have never known anything different."