The proportion of multiple pregnancies resulting from assisted reproduction technology (ART) has decreased and the number of treatment cycles has increased, says a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Assisted Reproduction Technology in Australia and New Zealand 2003, shows a 9% increase in the number of treatment cycles between 2002 and 2003.
The report also shows that multiple pregnancies resulting from ART have decreased from 19.4% in 1994 to 18.1% in 2003.
Professor Michael Chapman, spokesman for the AIHW's National Perinatal Statistics Unit located at the University of New South Wales, says the change reflects a decrease in the number of embryos being transferred per cycle.
'In 1994, three or more embryos were transferred in 48.7% of embryo transfer cycles compared with 4.3% of transfer cycles in 2003,' he said.
In the 2003 cohort, success (the delivery of at least one live baby) was achieved in 23.7% of embryo transfer cycles where women used their own fresh embryos, while the figure for women who used their own frozen embryos was 15.2%.
'When we look at the ages of women who used their own fresh embryos, women aged 25-29 years achieved more successful outcomes, with 35.1% of embryo transfer cycles achieving a live delivery, while women aged 40-44 years had a success rate of 9.5%,' Professor Chapman said.
The average age of women undergoing treatment in 2003 was 35.2 years.
The number of babies born following ART treatment increased by 8.6% between 2002 and 2003.
The proportion of babies that were born preterm (fewer than 37 weeks gestation) was 26.6%, which is down from 32.6% in 2000.
Babies born with low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams) made up 21.8% of all babies born in 2003, and this figure is also down from 2000 when 26.4% of all babies were born with low birthweight.
Both pre-term births and low birthweight are commonly associated with multiple pregnancies.
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.