IVF now accounts for almost 1 in 20 babies born each year

IVF treatment and success rates on the rise, accounting for almost 1 in 20 babies born each year


A new report compiled by UNSW medical researchers examining assisted reproduction technology has laid bare the truth behind IVF births in Australia, success rates and trends.

The study, Assisted Reproductive Technology in Australia and New Zealand, conveyed that in 2018 almost one in 20 babies in Australia were born through IVF– 14,355 from 76,341 IVF cycles.

There’s also been a steady increase in the demand for IVF over the last few years. In 2018, there were 84,064 initiated IVF cycles, up 2.2 per cent from 2017. And the success of treatment is growing steadily too, with the live birth rate per embryo transfer increasing from 24.3 per cent in 2014 to 27.3 per cent in 2018.

Age is still a leading determiner of IVF success, with younger women on average having better outcomes. However a greater proportion of women– especially those over 40– are seeking out frozen embryo transfer to screen out potential chromosomal abnormalities, with this decision yielding favourable results.

“The birth rate following frozen embryo transfer cycles (29.3 per cent) was higher than fresh embryo transfer cycles (24.6 per cent),” reported lead author, UNSW Medicine’s Professor Georgina Chambers.

For women between the ages of 40 to 44 years, the live birth rate per embryo transfer was 9.5 per cent for fresh cycles and 20.1 per cent for frozen cycles.

“The reason for the higher live birth rate after thaw cycles in older women is mainly because the embryo was created in an earlier fresh cycle when she was younger and because preimplantation genetic testing is more frequently used in older women to select viable embryos,” said Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) President, Professor Luk Rombauts.

The federal-government will soon launch a new website to give hopeful parents analytics and success rates from independent fertility providers. The ‘My IVF Success’ website is expected to launch before the end of 2020 and will also share statistics on individuals’ own likelihood of conceiving with treatment based on personal characteristics.

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