Over 50,000 babies born following IVF treatment in the UK since first success in 1978

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEA) Annual Report, published today, shows that over 50,000 babies have been born following in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment in the UK since it was first successful in 1978.

Since the introduction of IVF there has been a steady rise in patients, treatments and success rates with over 50% of all IVF babies being born in the past three years.

HFEA Chairman Ruth Deech said:

"The first IVF baby was born in the UK and we were the first statutory government body to regulate this treatment and remain one of the few to do so. While the number of couples seeking IVF treatment rapidly increases we aim to assure a high standard of care and medical expertise whether that clinic is private or public, big or small."

The HFEA Patients' Guide to DI and IVF Clinics 2000.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) today also published its  Patients' Guide to DI and IVF Clinics 2000, the sixth such edition. The Guide contains detailed impartial information about all clinics licensed that carry out donor insemination (DI) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and details the treatments they offer and their success rates.

HFEA Chairman Ruth Deech said:

"The Patients' Guide provides invaluable advice and information to those seeking infertility treatment about the issues they should consider, and questions they should ask, as well as the individual clinic success rates. However, it is very important that patients do not view the success rates as league tables. A patient's chances of success depend largely on individual factors. The data provide patients with detailed information on the clinics' success with different treatments such as ICSI, the use of donated eggs and frozen embryo transfers, as well as the clinics' success at reducing the number of multiple births. Patients should also take into account other factors such as, location, staff, cost, and the treatments available."


Notes for editors

  • The data in both the Annual Report and the Patients' Guide covers treatment cycles during the period 1 April 1998 to the 31 March 1999. The data are as up to date as possible given the need to wait for outcomes and verification at both the clinic and the HFEA.
  • 75 clinics are licensed by the HFEA to carry out IVF and DI and 29 for DI only.
  • Live birth rates are not shown in the Patients' Guide where less than 50 treatments were performed because the sample size is too small to give an accurate estimate.
  • ICSI is a treatment for men with very few sperm or where the sperm have poor or no motility. The technique involves a single sperm being selected and injected directly into the egg to aid the creation of an embryo.

For furthur information please contact the HFEA press office.

Page last updated: 13 March 2009

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