Five million babies born through IVF since 1978
The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology will hear at their annual meeting in Istanbul this week that the number of babies born as a result of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) has reached an estimated total of 5 million since the world’s first, Louise Brown, was born in July 1978.
by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 2nd July 2012
The calculation was made for a presentation at the congress by ICMART (International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies) and was based on the number of IVF and ICSI treatment cycles recorded worldwide.
Dr Anna Veiga, Chairman of ESHRE, and Scientific Director, Dexeus University Institute, Barcelona said:
“Five million babies are a clear demonstration that IVF and ICSI are now an essential part of normalised and standardised clinical therapies for the treatment of infertile couples. Many aspects have changed since the early days of IVF, especially the results in terms of babies born, but there is still room for improvement. Our objective is the birth of single healthy baby and this can be achieved though the optimisation of both clinical and embryological performance”.
Data from ICMART suggests that around 1.5 million ART cycles are now performed globally each year, resulting in the birth of around 350,000 babies. They found that two most active countries of the world are the USA and Japan, but the most active region by far is Europe. 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 currently 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 David Adamson, from Fertility Physicians of Northern California, USA, and Chairman of ICMART, said: “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”.
Source: ESHRE, The world’s number of IVF and ICSI babies has now reached a calculated total of 5 million, 2nd July 2012
Photography: J.K. Califf @Flickr