One Million IVF Babies and Counting

It seems like just yesterday: 1978 and the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in England. In 1981 the first IVF baby was born in the U. S. Now there are over one million IVF babies in the U. S.

The latest report on in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive techniques (ART) from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Advanced Reproductive Technology (SART) shows that nearly 68,000 babies were born using one or the other of the methods in 2015 alone; over a million since they started collecting data in 1985.

For many years, fertility doctors would routinely transfer several embryos into a woman at a time, resulting in twins, triplets, quadruplets and more. Such multiple pregnancies are dangerous to mothers and babies alike and can result in premature births. Like this, much has changed over the years in techniques leading to much better success rates, reducing the need to transfer multiple embryos.

Now, groups like the ASRM strongly encourage fertility specialists to transfer just one embryo. They’ve got data to back up the reassurance that going just one at a time is every bit as likely to result in a live birth as transferring multiple embryos. Still, only 34.5 percent of attempts nationwide used just a single embryo, SART reported. At RPMG we stress the advisability of transferring a single embryo in most situations. Advances like vitrification for freezing and PGS to help select chromosomally normal embryos as well as better embryo culture techniques have improved an embryo’s chances enough to make a single embryo transfer a reality.

“Fewer embryos transferred leads to lower incidence of multiple birth: 80.5 percent of babies born from 2015 cycles were singletons; 19.1 percent twins; and fewer than one-half of one percent were triplets (or higher order),” the group said.

More women are opting for frozen, donated eggs as well. More than 3,200 ART attempts used a frozen egg, the group said.

For the latest success rates for Reproductive Partners, please visit Our Success Rate page.

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