The use fertility clinics is going up, way up. According to a new study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention the number of babies born with the help of fertility clinics has almost tripled since 1996.
Using in vitro fertilization treatments and embryo donation programs, fertility clinics accounted for 20,597 births in 1996 and an astonishing 60,190 births in 2009. The report focused on babies born via assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures and the data was compiled from 441 fertility clinics.
The study also found the number of ART cycles doubled, from 64,036 in 1996 to 146,244 in 2009, but researchers say children born through these procedures are more likely than others to have difficult births because so many are born as twins or triplets.
“There’s no question that you are seeing steadily increasing utilization of these technologies,” said Senan Tipton, director of public affairs for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
The latest figures show1.4 percent of all U.S. births in 2009 were conceived with the help of fertility clinics. The highest IVF birth rates were in Massachusetts were four percent of all births in that state were conceived through fertility treatments.
“That’s impressive because most of it is not covered by insurance, and obviously we’ve been in difficult economic times,” Tipton said.
In the study, the CDC collected data on in-vitro fertilization and related procedures that used a woman’s own eggs, those of an embryo donor or donated eggs. Notably, treatments where only sperm was handled, such as artificial insemination, were not included in the CDC report.
In the next report, the CDC said it may include data on pregnancies from sperm donors, so that the nation can have the best possible information when it talks about the rights of donor-conceived persons and women involved in fertility clinic treatments.