HFEA figures reveal more than 10,000 women had successful IVF treatment in 2006

The number of women having successful in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment topped 10,000 for the first time in 2006, according to new figures released by the HFEA today. There were 10,242 births resulting in 12,596 babies in 2006, an increase of 13.1% on the number of births in 2005.

These figures have been published following an update to the HFEA’s interactive Find a Clinic guide (see http://guide.hfea.gov.uk/guide/).  Find a Clinic provides patients with live birth rate information for clinics carrying out IVF and donor insemination (DI).

Live birth rates (the percentage of live births per treatment cycles started) also rose – 23.1% of treatments resulted in a live birth in 2006, up 1.5% for on the previous year. In 1992, the first year the HFEA started collecting data, the live birth rate was 13%.

The number of patients and the number of treatments also increased. These latest figures show that 34,855 women were treated at UK clinics in 2006 - an increase of 6.8% on the previous year – and underwent 44,275 cycles of treatment. 

Overall success rates increased in every age group. For women under 35 using their own fresh eggs, the live birth rate was 31% compared to 29.6% in 2005.  For women over 44 using their own fresh eggs, the rate increased from 0.8% in 2005 to 4% in 2006.

These latest figures show:

  • IVF patient numbers up 6.8% (32,626 patients in 2005)
  • IVF treatments up 5.6% (41,932 cycles in 2005)
  • Births following IVF up 13.1% with 10,242 successful births resulting in 12,596 babies (in 2005 there were 9,058 births resulting in 11,262 babies)
  • Overall rates of multiple birth – the biggest risk for mothers and babies after IVF – fell from 24% of births in 2005 to 22.7% in 2006.

Donor insemination treatments are down 28%, with 4,225 treatments carried out in 2006 compared to 5,865 in 2005.  Overall success rates for donor insemination are up slightly – 10.8% of treatments resulted in a live birth compared to 10.3% in 2005. 

Find a Clinic includes details of every licensed fertility clinic in the UK – the services offered, treatments carried out and numbers of children born. In addition to data for individual clinics, overall figures for the UK are also published so that patients can compare success rates for their age group and treatment type.

Find a Clinic, the HFEA’s Guide to Infertility and the HFEA’s website combine to provide patients with a great deal of information to help them make informed decisions about what treatments are available, what help is available and what clinics can offer them.

  • There were more than 1.2 million views of the HFEA Find a Clinic website -www.hfea.gov.uk/guide – with each visitor looking at 14 pages on average, showing that patients are doing thorough searches across a number of clinics.
  • 70% of patients say that the interactive Find a Clinic information is either very useful or useful

Professor Lisa Jardine, Chair of the HFEA said:

"In the year that we celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the birth of the world’s first IVF baby, these latest figures show just how far we’ve come. IVF is now commonplace, with the number of treatment cycles and births rising yet again.

“A key function of the HFEA is to be an information resource, helping to guide people through their treatment journeys and giving them the information they need to feel properly informed about the choices they are making. We are currently at the start of a consultation process that will look closely at how we might further improve the information that we publish to best capture the performance of clinics. A more sophisticated analysis of national data would be valuable to patients, clinics and the NHS.

“However, the number of donor insemination cycles and births continues to fall.  While more couples are able to take advantage of techniques such as ICSI, for those patients whose treatment requires donor sperm, this is of great concern. The HFEA is supportive of clinics that are actively recruiting donors and we welcome the BFS Working Party proposals to introduce a national system for donor recruitment."


Notes to editors

  • Further national statistics and background notes are provided in this pdf document:
  • These latest figures are for treatments carried out between 1st January and 31st December 2006.  They were extracted from the HFEA register on 02 October 2008. Some minor changes may have been made to the data for individual clinics since then and these will be reflected in the data provided by Find a Clinic. The national figures given in this press release and attached documents may be updated in due course. Any changes are likely to be very minor any not make a significant difference to the versions published on 08 October 2008.
  • Additional detailed figures for treatments recorded by the HFEA since 1991 can be found in the HFEA’s long term data report “A long term analysis of the HFEA Register data 1991-2006"  Please note that the long term data has NOT yet been updated to reflect the very latest statistic for 2006.
  • The HFEA is the independent regulator for IVF treatment and embryo research. Our role is to protect patients and the public interest, to drive improvement in the treatment and research sectors and to provide information to the public and policymakers about treatment and research.
  • The HFEA was set up in August 1991 as part of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.  The HFEA’s principal tasks are to license and monitor clinics that carry out in vitro fertilisation (IVF), artificial insemination (AI) and human embryo research. The HFEA also regulates the storage of gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos.
  • The HFEA publishes a free Guide to Infertility for people considering or starting fertility treatment.

Contact the press office

HFEA Press Office
Tel: 020 7291 8226

Email: press.office@hfea.gov.uk

Out of hours urgent press contact: 07771 981 920 (for media enquiries only.)

Page last updated: 11 March 2009