Fourth Annual Assisted Reproductive Technology Report Released
More than 28,000 babies were born in 1998 as the result of assisted reproductive technology (ART) according to the fourth annual report on fertility clinic success rates released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to the new report, 360 clinics nationwide conducted some 80,634 ART cycles where human eggs are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory and transferred into a woman’s uterus. About 1 in 4 (25 percent) ART cycles resulted in the birth of a baby for women using their own eggs. Approximately 70 percent of ART attempts did not result in a pregnancy, the report said.
Increasingly, couples with infertility problems are turning to ART for help in having a child. This report is designed to be a consumer-friendly resource that provides key information to women about their chances of having a baby through ART treatment.
"We hope that women and couples will find information in this report helpful when they discuss aspects of ART with their physicians," said Dr. Lynne Wilcox, director of CDC’s Reproductive Health Program.
As in previous years, the 1998 report found that the age of the woman is one of the most important factors in determining whether she will have a live birth with ART using her own eggs. The overall success rate for live births among women using their own eggs begins to decline in their early thirties and declines more sharply from the mid-thirties onward.
In 1998, a woman using a donor egg had approximately a 40 percent chance of having a live birth, regardless of her age.
Approximately 51 percent of the pregnancies in 1998 resulting from fresh, nondonor cycles had a singleton birth, while 18 percent had an adverse outcome (ectopic pregnancy, an induced abortion, a miscarriage, or a stillbirth).
Nearly 31 percent of all ART deliveries in 1998 were multiple births (twins or more), compared to less than 3 percent in the general population. Multiple births are associated with risks for both the mother and the babies – cesarean section and hemorrhage for the mother, and pre-term delivery, low birth weight, death and long-term disabilities for the infants.
Fertility clinic success rate reports were mandated by the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992. This report contains a one-page summary of success rates at 360 fertility clinics in the United States. This enables women and couples to factor in their age, the type of treatment they are seeking, and their clinic preference when considering ART.
Dr. Laura Schieve, director of the ART report project at CDC, urges caution in comparing clinics. "Success rates depend on many factors besides the competency of the clinic," Dr. Schieve said. "Although the report provides some information on how factors such as age and primary infertility diagnosis may affect ART success rates, patients' specific medical conditions may also affect their likelihood of becoming pregnant. Couples should consult a physician to evaluate their chances of success with ART."
The 1998 report was prepared jointly by the CDC, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), and RESOLVE, a national consumer organization that helps people with infertility issues. The full report is available on the CDC Web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/drh/art98/ or printed copies can be ordered by calling CDC at (770) 488-5372.
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