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IVF treatment safer and more successful than ever before

Our new fertility trends report, launched 14 March, shows that on the 40th anniversary of IVF, the UK fertility sector has never been stronger.

IVF treatment is 85% more likely to succeed than it was in 1991 when the HFEA was set up, and the number of cycles being carried out in a single year in the UK has increased ten-fold. We’ve also seen a growth in the use of donated eggs and sperm, and greater success rates using frozen eggs, sperm and embryos.

While the report confirms that the biggest factor in determining successful fertility treatment remains the age of the patient, the average live birth rate per embryo transferred for women of all age groups stands at 21%, with the figure for women aged under 35 stands at 29% - the highest it’s ever been.

Crucially, by working closely with the clinics we regulate, we continue to see great steps made in reducing the risks of multiple births, which have dropped from 28% of all births to 11% in 2016, the lowest ever.

Reducing multiple birth rates, which are more likely to happen with fertility treatment, has been one of our key goals as they constitute a risk to the health of both mother and baby.

If you want to find out more about fertility treatment from the UK’s fertility regulator, read our full Fertility Trends 2014 – 2016 report (PDF 1.3 MB)

For more information on fertility treatments, check out our pages on the options available.

Key statistics

  • Between 1991 and 2016 there have been 1.1 million IVF treatment cycles in the UK.
  • In 2016 there were over 68,000 IVF treatment cycles resulting in over 20,000 births.
  • The multiple birth rate has fallen to 11% - the lowest ever
  • 42% of IVF patients were under the age of 35.

Publication date: 20 December 2018

Review date: 20 December 2020