Fertility Treatment Trends in the UK

Every year the Government regulator releases a Fertility Treatment Trends and Figures report. The document is jam packed with facts about the state of the UK IVF sector and analysis of all clinics data. 

By collecting information about IVF treatment they are able to produce detailed reports on the sector. For example,

  • In the UK, 240,724 babies have been born as a result of IVF treatment between 1991 and 2013.
  • The live birth rate as a result of IVF treatment has increased from 14% in 1991 to 26.5% in 2013.
  • In 2013, just over 2% of all babies born in the UK had been conceived through IVF treatment.

Why does the UK have the largest public register?

The Government regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) holds the public register which started recording the outcome of every IVF, ICSI, IUI and Donation cycle in 1991.

The the origin story of the HFEA Register starts before then, with the birth of the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown. She was born in Cambridge in 1978 after years of research and scientific advances.

While her birth was heralded as a miracle it also caused much concern and controversy in the scientific community and with the wider public.

As a result, the Government formed a committee to develop principles for the regulation of IVF and embryology. The findings were published the 1984 Warnock report which formed the basis of the creation of the HFEA

Can you access the HFEA Register?

No, you can’t access the whole register though you can access information from it if you are a donor conceived person. Approved researchers can access the Register and the HFEA publishes a report annually.

The report delves into the statistics and outlines the trends happening across the UK. As much of their data is based on live birth rates the trend report looks at pregnancy rates from the previous year and live birth rate from two years prior. For example, in March 2016 the HFE released the ‘Fertility Treatment 2014 – Trends and Figures Report’.

It provides breakdowns of success rates and cycle numbers, for example

The number of cycles performed in the UK each year, 1991 to 2014:

The number of cycles performed in the UK each year, 1991 to 2014:

Both graphs are from the HFEA Trends Report. Take a look at the full report for more information.

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