IVF births at highest number ever, says report

September 10, 2018, University of New South Wales
IVF births at highest number ever, says report
Credit: Shutterstock

In 2016/17, 15,198 IVF babies were born in Australia and New Zealand as a result of cycles undertaken in 2016 – the highest number ever in IVF's 40-year history, a UNSW report released today shows.

"The increase in the number of IVF reflects both the rise in number of cycles and an improvement in success rates over the last five years," says Professor Michael Chapman, President of the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA).

The report shows the live birth rate per embryo transfer has increased from 22.5 percent in 2012 to 26.2 percent in 2016, the most recent year from which data are available.

A major factor in these improved outcomes is an increase in the success rate of frozen embryo transfers, from 20 percent in 2012 to 27 percent in 2016. For the first time, there were more thawed embryo transfer cycles than fresh cycles performed in 2016 – almost 60 percent of babies born through IVF treatment resulted from frozen .

Another factor in the improved success rate has been the uptake of preimplantation genetic testing of embryos, which increased more than 200 percent since 2012.

"Australia leads the world in the reduction of multiple pregnancy and its adverse outcomes, with a high rate of single embryo transfer – making us one of the safest countries in the world to have IVF," says Professor Luk Rombauts, Vice-President of the FSA.

The proportion of IVF cycles with only a single embryo transferred increased from 73 percent in 2012 to 88 percent in 2016. This has meant that the proportion of twins and triplets born following IVF treatment is now 3.8 percent, one of the lowest rates in the world.

Due to a continued trend of delaying childbirth, one in four cycles are performed in women 40 years or over. Success rates in this group have risen by 30 percent over the last five years, from 10 percent to 13 percent.

The report, which is funded by the FSA, contains data about IVF cycles undertaken in 2016 and the resulting babies born in 2016 and 2017.The data presented in this report is maintained 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 on behalf of the FSA.

Key findings of the report

  • Largest ever number of babies born through IVF in 2016/17 – 13,596 in Australian clinics and 1,602 in New Zealand clinics
  • 4.3 percent increase in the number of IVF treatment cycles performed in 2016 (compared to 2015), with 81,062 cycles reported from Australian and New Zealand clinics
  • Live birth rate per has increased from 22.5 percent in 2012 to 26.2 percent in 2016
  • The average age of women having IVF treatment in 2016 was 36 years, with 1 in 4 cycles performed in women aged over 40
  • Australia and New Zealand safest region in the world for babies born by IVF treatment.

Explore further: Most IVF babies now come from frozen embryos

Related Stories

Most IVF babies now come from frozen embryos

October 13, 2017
For the first time, more live birth deliveries following IVF treatment are from cycles using frozen embryos, rather than fresh embryos.

Frozen embryos as successful as fresh embryos in IVF

September 10, 2015
IVF cycles using embryos that have been frozen and thawed are just as successful as fresh embryos according to a new UNSW report.

Australia a world leader in safe IVF

November 6, 2014
Australia and New Zealand are world leaders when it comes to safe IVF practice thanks to their focus on single-embryo transfer, according to the Assisted Reproductive Technology in Australia and New Zealand 2012 report by ...

More than 8 million babies born from IVF since the world's first in 1978

July 3, 2018
Forty years after the birth of Louise Brown, the world's first test-tube baby, an international committee monitoring progress in assisted reproduction reports today that the global total of babies born as a result of IVF ...

In vitro births continue to rise in US

March 3, 2015
(HealthDay)—More babies in the United States are being conceived by in vitro fertilization, a new report shows.

Frozen embryos more successful for conceiving during IVF

March 19, 2018
A new study carried out by a research team at The University of Western Australia and Fertility Specialists of Western Australia has found that women undergoing IVF who have had embryos fail to implant have more success using ...

Recommended for you

Undiagnosed STIs can increase negative PMS symptoms

September 17, 2018
Women that have undiagnosed sexually transmitted infections may be at greater risk of experiencing negative premenstrual symptoms (PMS), according to new Oxford University research.

High dose folic acid does not prevent pre-eclampsia in high risk women

September 13, 2018
Taking high dose folic acid supplements in later pregnancy (beyond the first trimester) does not prevent pre-eclampsia in women at high risk for this condition, finds a randomised controlled trial published by The BMJ today.

Study finds air purifiers may benefit fetal growth

September 12, 2018
A new study led by SFU health sciences researchers Prabjit Barn and Ryan Allen reveals fetal growth may improve if pregnant women use portable air purifiers inside their homes.

Delayed childbearing is a growing source of multiple births, study shows

September 12, 2018
Starting in the 1980s, the number of multiple births—twins, triplets, quadruplets and quintuplets—steadily increased from about 20 sets per 1,000 live births to almost 35 sets per 1,000 live births in the 2010s.

Transforming pregnancy research with a smartphone app

September 5, 2018
For years, pregnant women have been underrepresented in biomedical research. Current treatments, interventions and guidelines do a poor job of taking into consideration the diverse characteristics of all pregnant women.

For women undergoing IVF, is fresh or frozen embryo transfer best?

August 21, 2018
The world's first baby born via in-vitro fertilization turned 40 years old this summer. Still, after four decades, IVF is a relatively new field with ongoing debate on how to get the best results for families who have placed ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.