Infertility Treatments: More Successful
In Vitro Fertilization Resulting in More Single-Baby Births
Dec. 17, 2003 -- It's a miracle: Infertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization, resulted in some 40,000 babies, according to a CDC report for 2001.
The report summarizes national trends and success rates of assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization -- the most common procedure done.
More procedures were reported in 2001 than 2000, and more infants were born as a result of assisted reproductive technology (ART), the report says.
The report also indicates greater success in producing singleton births (births involving one baby), which is an important measure of success for infertility treatments
Singleton-birth infants have significantly lower risk of bad outcome than do multiple-birth infants. Multiple-infant births, a frequent occurrence in infertility treatments, are associated with greater risk for babies, such as death and disability and for mothers, such as cesarean section and hemorrhage.
Among women using their own fresh eggs:
- 27% of ART procedures resulted in a birth -- an increase from the previous year.
- 36% of ART deliveries resulted in multiple births (twins or more); in the general population, 3% of births are multiples. This high number occurs because multiple embryos are often transferred to increase the likelihood of a live pregnancy.
- Between 1996 to 2001 the rates for singleton live births increased by 24% for women using their own fresh eggs, 41% for women using their own frozen eggs, 21% for women using fresh donor eggs, and 28% for women using frozen donor eggs.
The report also offers evidence that a woman's age is one of the most important factors in determining whether she will have a live birth by using her own eggs.
"Women in their 20s and early 30s had relatively high rates of success for pregnancies, live births, and singleton live births ... But success rates declined steadily once a woman reached her mid-30s," says Victoria Wright, a public health analyst in CDC's reproductive health program, in a news release.
"For many people, the dream of having a baby is difficult to achieve,"
Wright says. "Our report provides information to those considering ART
so that they can make informed decisions."
- 35% of the ART procedures started in 2001 among women younger than 35 resulted in live births.
- In 2001, 28% of procedures in women ages 35 to 37 had live births, as did 20% of those in 38- to 40-year-old women, 10% among 41 and 42 year olds, and 4% among women older than 42.
Whether to have infertility treatment is a personal decision that women should make in consultation with a physician, says Wright. She encourages caution in comparing success rates of various clinics because a clinic's skill is only one factor that influences a success rate. A woman's age and the cause of her infertility are equally important, she says.