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Fertility treatments rise recorded


There has been a rise in the number of fertility treatments carried out in the UK, according to new figures.

Data reveals there were 57,652 cycles in 2010, an increase of 5.9% on the number in 2009.

The treatments cover both IVF and intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), which involves injecting a single sperm into an egg to fertilise it.

Overall, 45,264 women in 2010 were treated with either IVF or ICSI.

Some 74% of treatments involve women using their own fresh eggs, while 17% involve using a woman's own frozen eggs.

Overall, 3% of cycles involved donor eggs and 6% donor insemination.

Frozen transfers overall are less successful than fresh ones, but this trend is reversed in older women.

Of all IVF cycles, women were aged 35.1 years on average when they underwent treatment, up from 33.6 in 1991.

A breakdown shows 42% of cycles were to women aged 18 to 34, 23% were to women aged 35 to 37, 16% were to women aged 38 and 39 and 14% were to those aged 40 to 42.

Just under 4% of cycles were to women aged 43 to 44 and 2% were to those aged 45 and over.

A total of 12,386 pregnancies were reported as a result of fresh IVF or ICSI treatment which started in 2009 and 13,015 pregnancies followed treatment started in 2010.

The pregnancy rate per embryo transfer stood at 33.4% - a figure which remained steady from 2009 and 2010 - but the multiple pregnancy rate fell slightly.

The figures were released by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

The detail on donor insemination showed the number of cycles using this method rose 0.8%, with 3,878 cycles in 2010, compared with 3,847 in 2009.

The live birth rate for donor insemination cycles was 11%.

Overall, more treatments in 2010 also used donor eggs.

In 2009, there were 1,254 cycles of IVF with donated eggs, resulting in 550 babies being born, rising 5% in 2010 to 1,320 cycles.

Some 40% of all fertility cycles were funded by the NHS while 60% involved patients paying privately, down from 62% the year before.