Fertility clinics' success rate hits new high

Fertility clinics have raised their success rates to record levels, despite an increase in the age of women treated. Almost one in four cycles of treatment (23.7 per cent) resulted in a live birth in 2007, up from 21.6 per cent in 2005 and 15 per cent in 1995.

The average age of the women treated increased to 35.2. Where women aged under 35 used their own fresh eggs, nearly one in three (32.3 per cent) had a baby from each cycle of treatment.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority released the figures as it launched a new "choose a fertility clinic" website, with more detailed information about each of the UK's 114 licensed clinics, including success rates expressed in what statisticians say is a more accurate form.

Professor Lisa Jardine, chair of the HFEA, said: "People can spend thousands of pounds in the hope of having a baby. It is only right that people have access to as much information as possible to help them make a choice about where they go for their treatment." The website goes live tomorrow at the same time as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act comes into force.