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Eight million born through assisted reproduction

Wednesday July 4th, 2018

More than eight million babies have been born in the last 40 years through in vitro fertilisation and other modern fertility treatments, a European conference has heard.

The report, from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, is published yesterday (3 July), 40 years to the month after the birth of the world's first test-tube baby, Louise Brown.

Ms Brown was born on 25 July 1978 at Oldham General Hospital, UK. Her in vitro conception was led by the Cambridge reproductive biologist Robert Edwards, who went on to co-found the Society. The report says that pregnancy rates from in vitro fertilisation in Europe are currently steady at about 36%.

Dr David Adamson and colleagues on the international committee which compiled the report used information from national registries. They explain that more than a half million babies are now born annually from in vitro fertilisation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection from more than two million treatment cycles performed. The procedures are most commonly used in Spain, followed by Russia, Germany and France.

Findings of the report were presented yesterday in Barcelona, Spain, at the 34th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Committee chair, Dr Christian De Geyter, said: "Success rates have stabilised, although outcome in egg donation and with use of frozen embryos is still moving upwards. The biggest upwards movement, however, is from treatments with frozen eggs, which have been revolutionised by the widespread introduction of vitrification."

He adds that the global need for advanced fertility treatments is around 1,500 cycles per million population per year, but "only a minority of European countries meet this need.”

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | Europe | Nursing & Midwifery | Women's Health & Gynaecology | World Health

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