THE number of IVF babies born in Australia from frozen embryos now exceeds the number born from fresh embryos.
A report released by the UNSW’s National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit shows live deliveries to result from frozen embryos has increased by 64 per cent since 2011.
Between 2011 and 2015, 7,412 live deliveries resulted from frozen embryos, compared to 6,628 from fresh embryos, it said.
Professor Michael Chapman President of the Fertility Society of Australia says the trend reflects changes in clinical practices as well as improvements in IVF success rates.
“Some of the changes include better cryopreservation methods that ‘snap-freeze’ embryos, more preimplantation screening of embryos before transfer, and recognition that for some patients, it’s better to freeze all their embryos and transfer them in follow-up cycles,” Professor Chapman said.
Since the first Australian IVF baby was born in 1980, more than 200,000 babies have been born with the help of assisted reproductive technology.
The Assisted Reproductive Technology in Australia and New Zealand 2015 report shows there was a six per cent increase in the number of IVF treatment cycles performed in 2015 compared to 2014, with 77,721 cycles reported by clinics.
A total of 13,344 babies were born following IVF treatment in Australian clinics and 1,447 in New Zealand clinics in 2015.
The report also shows the continuing decrease in the rate of multiple deliveries, from 6.9 per cent in 2011 to 4.4 per cent in 2015.
“With the continued decrease in multiple embryo transfer cycles performed in Australia and New Zealand, we are also reducing the risk of multiple births,” Vice President of the FSA, Professor Luk Rombauts said.