The 1% quote is pretty close. In 2009, there were 380 863 births in Canada, and 3160 of these were via IVF based on the statistics stated below. This is an overall rate of 0.83% of births were via IVF, which can easily be rounded up to state approximately 1%.
I know a number of people who have used IVF in order to get pregnant, but I had never considered the overall percentage before. I'd share one of cute pictures of friends children who have been conceived by IVF, but even for those who are open about the conception, it feels a little too public to request permission to use a picture.
One in one hundred children being born are being conceived by IVF. This means that you probably know a child who was conceived in this way, but you probably just don't realize it, since infertility, like miscarriage, is considered a private issue by many Canadians. Both are starting to be talked about a little more.
I looked up some statistics on IVF in Canada. According to the news release from the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS), the following are statistics that have been compiled from all 28 fertility clinics across Canada.
"Live birth rates were reported for a combined total of 10,532 IVF treatment cycles (including intracytoplasmic sperm injection [ICSI]) undertaken in all 28 IVF centres in Canada in 2009. There were 3332 IVF/ICSI treatment cycles performed in 8 centres in Western Canada, 5015 cycles in 14 centres in Ontario, 1875 cycles in 5 centres in Quebec, and 310 cycles in 2 centres in Atlantic Canada.
Preliminary results were reported for a combined total of 11,718 IVF/ICSI treatment cycles undertaken in all 28 IVF centres in Canada in 2010:
- The overall live birth rate was 30% per cycle started, 33% per egg retrieval procedure, and 35% per embryo transfer procedure.
- 71% of births were singletons, 28% were twins, and 1% were triplets or more.
- A healthy term singleton birth occurred following 16% of cycles started, 18% of cycles having egg retrieval, and 19% of cycles having embryo transfer.
- The live birth rates per cycle started, by age of the mother, were:
- 40% for women under 35 years old
- 29% for women aged 35-39 years
- 12% for women 40 years old and over.
- The chances of a healthy term singleton baby per cycle started, by age of the mother, were:
- 21% for women under 35 years old
- 16% for women aged 35-39 years
- 7% for women 40 years old and over.
- The proportion of babies with congenital anomalies was not different from that in the population of women conceiving naturally.
- The miscarriage rate of 17% per clinical intrauterine pregnancy is in keeping with that for natural conceptions.
Live birth rates for assisted human reproduction cycles started in 2010 will be released when they become available.
- The overall clinical pregnancy rate was 34% per cycle started, 37% per egg retrieval procedure, and 39% per embryo transfer procedure .
- 75% of pregnancies were singletons, 23% were twins, and 2% were triplets or more.
- A singleton pregnancy occurred following 23% of cycles started, 25% of cycles having egg retrieval, and 27% of cycles having embryo transfer.
- The clinical pregnancy rates per cycle started, by age of the mother, were:
- 43% for women under 35 years old
- 34% for women aged 35-39 years
- 18% for women 40 years old and over.
- The singleton pregnancy rates per cycle started, by age of the mother, were:
- 30% for women under 35 years old
- 23% for women aged 35-39 years
- 12% for women 40 years old and over.
- Complications occurred in fewer than 2% of treatment cycles.
The CFAS makes these data available for reference and education."
I'm sure these numbers would be even higher if it wasn't for the cost and accessibility. The cost is much too high for many people to even be able to consider the option of IVF. At thousands of dollars per IVF attempt, the costs are prohibitive to many. Secondly, accessibility is a concern for those who do not live in urban areas where there is a fertility centre.
For people who live where I do, it requires a daily 1.5 to 2.5 hour commute each way to a clinic for numerous days during a cycle. How do you balance travelling that long for appointments while also maintaining a job?