Increase in IVF births and new techniques

In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and related techniques delivered 2,715 babies (1.0% of all Australian births) conceived in 1994 and born up to September 1995, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and the Fertility Society of Australia.

The report, Assisted Conception, Australia and New Zealand, 1994 and 1995, presents data collected from 24 Australian and five New Zealand IVF units by the Institute's National Perinatal Statistics Unit. The data detail IVF and gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) treatments.

'More than 20,000 babies conceived by IVF and GIFT have been born in Australia since 1980', said AIHW National Perinatal Statistics Unit Director, Dr Paul Lancaster.

The use of microinsemination in treating infertility has increased sharply in recent years. In 1995, 30% of all assisted conception involved microinsemination by microinjection of sperm into eggs, or the transfer of frozen/thawed embryos after fertilisation by microinjection.

'Pregnancy rates and results for the main type of microinsemination, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), were similar to those for conventional IVF', said Dr Lancaster.

'Based on almost 800 pregnancies and more than 700 births after microinsemination, pregnancy outcome is similar to that for other IVF pregnancies.'

Other findings of the report include:

  • Conventional IVF treatment (transfer of fresh embryos to the uterus) pregnancy rates were 10.2 live births per 100 treatment cycles in 1994 compared with 11.5 in 1995.
  • After GIFT, pregnancy rates were 20.7 live births per 100 treatment cycles in 1994 compared with 20.6 in 1995.
  • Embryo transfer cycles after embryo freezing accounted for a greater proportion of all treatment cycles, increasing to 27.8% of 22,303 cycles in 1995.
  • The use of GIFT decreased, with 13% fewer treatment cycles in 1994 than in 1993 and 22% fewer cycles in 1995 than in 1994.
  • The incidence of IVF twins decreased slightly from 15.7% in 1993 to 15.1% in 1994.
  • For GIFT, twins increased slightly from 21.7% in 1993 to 22.3% in 1994, and triplets increased from 2.5% in 1993 to 3.9% in 1994.

21 March 1997


Further information: Dr Paul Lancaster, NPSU, ph. 02 9351 4379.
For media copies of the report (84pp.): Chris Finnegan, AIHW, ph. 02 6244 1032.
Availability: Check the AIHW for details.