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6.5 Million IVF Babies Born Worldwide Since Louise Brown

ESHRE’s European IVF Monitoring (EIM) Consortium presented its preliminary data review of ART activity in 2013, with analysis of more than 680,000 cycles from 1144 centers and 143,0000 babies born. EIM Chairman Carlos Calhaz-Jorge said the numbers increased by 7% over 2012, are “going up every year”, and represent more than 80% of total European activity.

The well reported trends in IVF and ICSI seen over the past few years persist into 2013, with treatments and success rates now relatively stable. Also stable is the numerical (if not outcome) advantage of ICSI over IVF, with the former still accounting for around two-thirds of all treatments. This, said Calhaz-Jorge, must reflect a trend not led by pathology and indication.

David Adamson, presenting preliminary world report results in the same session, showed that this is indeed a global and not merely European trend. There are, however, huge variations country-to-country, with the Middle East, for example, now relying exclusively on ICSI. In May, following publication of the world report for 2010 in Human Reproduction, Editor Hans Evers complained about the trend in an accompanying editorial, saying: “The majority of the patients who will get pregnant with ICSI will also do so with IVF.” Both EIM and global data show a slightly lower overall success rate with ICSI than with IVF.

While usage rates of IVF and ICSI remained static, egg donation and frozen embryo transfer both increased. Also on the march is eSET, whose use has increased from 11% in 1997 to more than 30% in 2013.

Adamson’s report on global activity was derived from 1,359,000 started cycles and 262,485 deliveries. This too was a 6% increase on the previous year. Cumulatively, there are now calculated to have been 6.5 million IVF babies born since Louise Brown, at a current delivery rate of almost 29%.

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