5 Million IVF And ICSI Babies Worldwide
July 3, 2012

5 Million IVF And ICSI Babies Worldwide

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

According to research presented this week at the 28th annual meeting of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) meeting, the number of babies born as a result of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) has reached an estimated 5 million since the world's first, Louise Brown, was born in July 1978.

The calculations are based on the number of IVF and ICSI treatment cycles recorded worldwide up to 2008 and estimates added for the next three years. The collective total of births was put at 4.6 million in 2011, and in 2012 has now reached an estimated 5 million.

Dr David Adamson, from Fertility Physicians of Northern California, USA, and Chairman of International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART), commented: "It means that this technology has been highly successful in treating infertile patients. Millions of families with children have been created, thereby reducing the burden of infertility.”

"The technology has improved greatly over the years to increase pregnancy rates. The babies are as healthy as those from other infertile patients who conceive spontaneously. The technology is available globally in many different cultures. The major barriers to access are economic, and societal in some situations. With these accomplishments as a technology, and with recognition of Professor Robert Edwards as a Nobel Laureate, IVF is firmly established now in the mainstream of medicine."

Other ICMART information shows that around 1.5 million ART cycles are now performed worldwide each year, producing approximately 350,000 babies. The two most active countries of the world are the USA and Japan, but the most active region by far is Europe.

European data to be presented at the ESHRE congress are from 2009 and show that demand for treatment continues to grow, from 532,260 in 2008 to 537,287 in 2009.

The average availability of ART in Europe is close to 1000 cycles/million inhabitants, but this figure varies greatly between countries and is largely dependent on local state funding policies. For example, availability in Europe is greater than in the USA but less than in Australia.

Dr Anna Pia Ferraretti, chairman of ESHRE's IVF Monitoring Consortium, said that the global need for ART is estimated to be at least 1500 cycles/million population per year, a figure only seen in Denmark (2726 cycles/million), Belgium (2562 cycles), Czech Republic (1851 cycles), Slovenia (1840 cycles), Sweden (1800 cycles), Finland (1701 cycles) and Norway (1780 cycles). Countries with much lower availability included Austria (747 cycles/million), Germany (830 cycles), Italy (863 cycles) and UK (879 cycles).

Accomplishment rates from a single "fresh" treatment cycle of IVF and ICSI - as first indicated in data for 2008 presented last year - seem to have stabilized, at around 32% pregnancy rate per embryo transfer (and 28% per aspiration). Dr Ferraretti said there had been a notable decrease in the number of embryos transferred, with growing delivery rates, which include the transfer of frozen/thawed embryos from the same stimulation cycle, now representing "the best indicator of outcome". By using this endpoint, delivery rates can increase considerably while maintaining a very low multiple rate.

On this question of multiple pregnancies, Dr Ferraretti said: "The overall trend in Europe decreasing of transferring embryos continues. We found in 2009 that, compared with previous years, fewer three-embryo transfers and more single embryo transfers were performed. As a result of this trend, ART triplets have fallen below 1%, and, for the first time, the twin delivery rate was below 20% (19.6%)."