- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Babies born using assisted reproductive technology increased in 2016, with 71,296 births counted from the efforts of 377 clinics in the U.S., according to preliminary data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.

Women went through a total of 242,618 cycles to achieve the 2016 birth rate. The in vitro fertilization cycle includes weeks of hormone therapy to increase egg production, likely self-injected with a needle, leading to a minimally invasive surgical procedure to retrieve the eggs. Women are often put under general anesthesia for the procedure.

The retrieved eggs are then brought to a lab where they are fertilized and monitored for viability. According to the SART data, advances in IVF technology have delivered successful results with minimal embryo implantations. While women used to have many embryos implanted at once to increase the chances of pregnancy, that number has dropped.

In 2016, 84 percent of IVF births were “singletons”, with 15.6 percent twins and 0.4 percent triplets. Those numbers improved from 2015, where 80.5 percent of babies were singleton; 19.1 percent twins and 0.4 percent triplets.

“The improvement in outcomes reflects our members’ continued striving to provide the best care to their patients,” SART President Dr. David Seifer said in a statement.

In final data measures for 2015, women 35 years of age or younger had higher rates of success with fewer IVF cycles than women age 42 or over; 53.9 percent getting pregnant on the first time compared with 3.9 percent respectively.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collects data on over 440 clinics providing assisted reproductive technology, although their latest report is from 2015. Among their data includes rising rates across all sectors of IVF, from number of cycles, number of egg retrievals, number of babies born, among others. However, patients using previously frozen embryos increased while fresh embryos decreased.

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