Since the first in vitro fertilization (IVF) was successfully performed in 1978, there has been a huge increase in couples using assisted reproductive technologies – couples who wish to conceive but experience difficulties getting pregnant or staying pregnant. For hundreds of years, about 10 to 15 percent of all couples in the U.S. experienced significant problems with achieving pregnancy. Historically, these couples were left with very few options. Although many may eventually achieve a spontaneous pregnancy over a 10 or 15 year period, many more will be unable to conceive without therapy. Thankfully, more fertility treatments and options are available today than ever before.
Recent data shows that there is a rapidly growing acceptance in using assisted reproductive technologies (ART), and in particular in vitro fertilization (IVF), in the U.S. The latest annual report from the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) in 2014 reported that there were more than 165,000 ART procedures in the U.S. in 2012, resulting in more than 61,000 births. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase in more than 2,000 births thanks to IVF.
Currently, IVF treatment accounts for 1.5 percent of all babies born in the U.S. In some metro areas, IVF accounts for even more – upwards of 5 percent of all births. The use of IVF nationwide is expected to grow as couples in need are increasingly receptive to pursing ART in general. Coupled with this is the dramatic increase in success rates associated with IVF due to technological improvements.
So why are fertility treatments being used more now than ever before? The need for ART may be increased in countries such as the U.S. because many women choose to delay child bearing until their mid to late 30s, when pregnancy rates begin to decline. Thankfully, current technology offers therapy to make families a reality for many couples who would otherwise struggle to achieve pregnancy. Having said that, national success rates for pregnancy lower significantly after women reach their late 30s and early 40s. So when it comes to growing your family, addressing fertility issues early on with your doctor is the best strategy.
Our board certified fertility specialists would be happy to discuss any infertility problems you may be experiencing. Please contact our main office at 901-747-2229 to schedule an appointment in either Memphis or Tupelo.