Australia had 14,355 babies born via IVF treatment in 2018, new research has shown
The University of New South Wales report shows this represents almost one in 20 babies born to IVF, or about one in every classroom.
The report also states there were 84,064 initiated IVF cycles in 2018, a 2.2 percent increase from 2017.
Report lead author, Professor Georgina Chambers, said, “The birth rate following frozen embryo transfer cycles (29.3 percent) was higher than fresh embryo transfer cycles (24.6 percent).”
There was a higher live birth rate in younger women: for women aged younger than 30 years, the live birth rate per embryo transfer was 40.4 percent for fresh cycles and 34.9 percent for thaw cycles.
For women aged 40 to 44 years, the live birth rate per embryo transfer was 9.5 percent for fresh cycles and 20.1 percent for frozen cycles.
“The reason for the higher live birth rate after frozen 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,” says Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) president, Professor Luk Rombauts.
The report also stated that the proportion of twins and triplets born following IVF treatment is now 3.2 percent – a record low in Australia and New Zealand’s 40-year IVF history.
The university said this all-time low is due to the increased proportion of IVF cycles where only a single embryo is transferred, up from 79 percent in 2014 to 91 percent in 2018.
Professor Chambers said, “By comparison, the percentage of multiple births from IVF treatment was eight percent in the UK and 13 percent in the US during the same period.”
The report, which is funded by the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA), and contains data submitted by all Australian and New Zealand IVF clinics, contains information about IVF cycles undertaken in 2018 and the resulting babies born in 2018 and 2019.
The data presented in this report is managed by the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit (NPESU) within UNSW’s Centre for Big Data Research in Health and School of Women’s and Children’s Health.
Prof Rombauts says IVF could help bolster Australia’s fertility rate
“IVF represents a significant number of babies, and importantly the majority of these babies were singletons, which is safer for mothers and babies,” he says.
“It is estimated that in the last 40 years, more than eight million babies have been born through IVF globally, a significant contribution to the population.”
Australia’s first IVF baby, Candice Thum, marked her 40th birthday in June 2020.
She was the first of 200,000 babies born via fertility treatment in the Southern Hemisphere.
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