1% of births in Australia from assisted conception

Assisted conception techniques produced 1.1% (2,920) of all Australian births in 1995, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Perinatal Statistics Unit at the University of New South Wales.

The report, Assisted Conception Australia and New Zealand 1996, presents data collected from 27 Australian and 6 New Zealand IVF units.

While the overall proportion of births from assisted conception increased slightly over the last year, the proportion of assisted conception pregnancies resulting from microinsemination (usually single sperm injection) has increased rapidly. Dr. Paul Lancaster, AIHW National Perinatal Statistics Unit Director said, 'microinsemination now accounts for a third of all treatment cycles and the proportion of all assisted conception pregnancies due to this technique has risen from less than 1 in 200 in 1990 to 1 in 4 in 1995.'

Multiple births after assisted conception are still common. Dr. Lancaster said, 'between 1993 and 1995, 20% of all IVF - in-vitro fertilisation - and GIFT - gamete intrafallopian transfer - pregnancies were multiple births compared with 1.4% for all pregnancies.' Between 1994 and 1995 multiple births in IVF pregnancies increased from 16.8% to 19.4%, but decreased in GIFT pregnancies from 26.2% to 22.9%.

Other findings of the report include:

  • For all assisted conception techniques in 1996, 1 in 7 treatment cycles resulted in a birth.
  • The rate of pregnancies of 20 weeks or more for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and transfer of fresh embryos was 13.7 per 100 cycles compared with 11.9 per 100 cycles for IVF without ICSI.

20 February 1998

Further information: Dr Paul Lancaster, NPSU, ph. 02 9382 1047 or 02 9427 0112 (ah).
For media copies of the report (109pp): Jocelyn Mann, NPSU, ph. 02 9382 1014, or Emma Needham, AIHW, ph. 02 6244 1031.