July 3, 2012

Number of “ART” Babies Reaches 5 Million

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Imagine not being able to give birth naturally. That is the reality for 6 million women in the United States. Fortunately, assisted reproduction technologies (ART) are an option for these women. Since 1978, 5 million babies have been given the gift of life as a result of these technologies.

This number (5 million) was based on the number of IVF (In vitro fertilization) and ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) treatment cycles recorded worldwide up to 2008 with estimations added for the following three years. The cumulative total of births was put at 4.6 million last year, and this year has now reached an approximate total of 5 million.

"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," Dr. David Adamson, from Fertility Physicians of Northern California, USA, and Chairman of ICMART was quoted saying.

Other ICMART data indicates that around 1.5 million ART cycles are now performed globally each year, producing around 350,000 babies. This number continues to rise. The two most active countries in the world are the USA and Japan, but the most active region by far is Europe.

The average availability of ART in Europe is close to 1000 cycles/million inhabitants. Availability in Europe is greater than in the USA but less than in Australia.

"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)," Dr Anna Pia Ferraretti, chairman of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology IVF Monitoring Consortium, was quoted saying.

Success rates from a single "fresh" treatment cycle of IVF and ICSI seem to have stabilized at around 32-percent pregnancy rate per embryo transfer. There had been a notable decline in the number of embryos transferred, with cumulative delivery rates, which include the transfer of frozen/thawed embryos from the same stimulation cycle. By using this endpoint, she explained, delivery rates can increase substantially while maintaining a very low multiple rate.

"The overall trend in Europe of transferring fewer 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-percent, and, for the first time, the twin delivery rate was below 20-percent," Dr Ferraretti added.

Source: 28th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, July 2012