Record number of babies born through IVF in the United States

According to a new report published by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), in 2012 a total of 165,172 cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF) were performed in the United States, which led to a record 61,740 births – 2,000 more than in 2011. That means that of every 100 babies born in the US at least one is conceived with the assistance of fertility treatments (e.g., IVF, fertility medications, use of third party donation).

The SART report includes statistics from 379 fertility clinics – representing more than 90% of the clinics in the United States. It is also interesting to note that more women are opting for single embryo transfer to avoid multiple births. In 2007, only 4% of women agreed to having only one embryo transferred during an IVF cycle, but that number has risen to 15% in 2012.

The rise in the use of fertility treatments likely reflects the increasing average age at first birth for women. In the US, the average age of first time mothers is about 26 years of age, compared to 21.4 years old in the 1970s. In Canada, this number is even higher, at approximately age 30, an increase from 26.7 years at first birth in 1975.

Success rates of IVF are related to age, with women under age 35 being 10 times more likely to have a live birth than women who are over 42. In older women, less than half of the IVF pregnancies actually result in a live birth.

Read more about age and fertility here and here.

Read more about IVF here.

Read about the US SART report here.

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