Europe: ART capital of the world

pregnant couple

Europe leads the world in Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART). The news was announced during the annual meeting ESHRE. According to the data, Europe stands alone, way ahead of other global regions like the United States and Australia, with 479,288 treatments reported from 32 different European countries in 2007. Dr. Jacques de Mouson, chairman of ESHRE’s European IVF Monitoring Group (EIM) stated that a significant percentage was due to more clinics reporting, but still, this is way ahead of other regions.

The United States reported 142,435 cycles in 2007 while Australia/New Zealand came in third place with 56,817. In the 28 countries that reported deliveries, a total of 90,000 babies have been born using ART. The various methods of ART breakdown this way:

- 118,667 regular IVF treatments
- 246,687 intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles
- 74,855 frozen embryo transfer (FER) cycles
- 15,028 egg donor (ED) cycles
- 6,822 preimplantation genetic diagnosis/screening cycles (PGD/PGS)
- 660 in vitro maturation (IVM) cycles

“The reverse trend from IVF to ICSI continues with now 67.5% of fresh cycles using the latter technology, although the efficacy of ICSI in terms of pregnancy rates is the same as standard IVF,” Dr. de Mouson said. Other good news is that the incidence of multiple births is down, with triplets now significantly less than 1% of ART births.

In order to further assess the success and safety of ART, the EIM has begun a major study MART or Morbidity in ART Study. They will collect data from a large group of ART children born in Scandinavia. The team is going to analyze conception, pregnancy, and birth data fro,m Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. “We estimate that we will have about 75,000 children in our database at the end. The data from Denmark and Finland are ready, the Swedish will finalise their data soon and in Norway the application to obtain these data is currently being processed,” explained Prof. Anders Nyboe Andersen, past chair of the EIM.

The results should be very exciting and have the ability to expand and cross link data across Europe to show long term health effects for families utilizing ART.

Source: Hanna Hanssen-ESHRE, Medical News Today


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