IVF birth rates in Australia and New Zealand have continued to improve, while the number of IVF twins are falling, a new report from UNSW has shown.
‘Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2017’ shows the overall live birth rate per embryo transfer has increased from 23.6% in 2013 to 26.8% in 2017, the most recent year from which data are available. A total of 15,613 babies were born through IVF in Australia and New Zealand in 2017–18.
The improved success rates are likely due to the increasing trend in frozen embryo transfers and improved laboratory technologies. For the second year in a row, the birth rate following frozen embryo transfer cycles (28.9%) was higher than fresh embryo transfer cycles (24.1%). The use of pre-implantation genetic testing increased by 24% between 2016 and 2017.
“The improvement in the overall live birth rate has largely been due to improved success rates in cycles using frozen embryos,” said UNSW Medicine Professor Michael Chapman, President of the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA), which funded the report.
In parallel, the proportion of twins and triplets born following IVF treatment is now 3.6% — a record low in Australia and New Zealand’s 40-year IVF history. This all-time low is due to the increased proportion of IVF cycles where only a single embryo is transferred, up from 76% in 2013 to 89% in 2017.
“The Australian and New Zealand region has one of the lowest rates of multiple deliveries from IVF treatment in the world and maintains consistently high success rates,” said Professor Luk Rombauts, Vice President of the FSA. “We have achieved this through the commitment of IVF specialists and patients to provide the safest treatment possible, guided by clinical practice guidelines developed by the FSA.”
Read the full report here.