In-vitro fertilization (IVF) started 34 years ago in England and today the practice has helped conceive more than five million children around the world.
According to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) an estimated 350,000 babies are now conceived in petri dishes every single year. To put that number in comparison approximately .3 percent of babies of the 130-million born each year come from IVF.
To complete the IVF process an egg and sperm are placed together in a petri dish which allows them to form an embryo. In another practice known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) the sperm is inserted directly into the egg with a micro-needle.
The new birth estimate was completed by ICMART for the 28th annual meeting of ESHRE and it was based on information collected up to 2008 and then combined with recent year estimates.
Under current numbers it is believed that 1.5 million IVF and ICSI treatments are now administered each year with more than one-third occurring in Europe. The study also found that nearly one-third of all fertilized embryo’s now result in a live birth.
Oh a positive note the ESHRE has found that doctors in Europe are now implanting fewer embryos at one time which has slowed the rate for multiple births. As we previously reported IVF and multiple births have been associated with various birth defects, lower birth weight and even developmental difficulties.
Researchers say for the first time triplet rates are below 1% and twin rates have fallen below 20% for patients.