The prevalence of medically assisted reproduction (MAR) has continued to increase over the past decade in Australia.
This finding reflects the growing trend of delayed motherhood in high-income countries and the decline in fertility rates across the world.
The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, analysed the births from MAR treatments including both assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and OI/IUI (ovulation induction/intrauterine insemination) in two Australian states. In Australia, all MAR treatments are subsidised regardless of age, number of children or previous cycles, thus providing a unique situation where MAR births could be analysed in an unrestricted setting.
From 2009 to 2017, births from MAR increased 30% from 5.1% of all births in 2009 to 6.7% in 2017. Births from ART increased 54.9% over the period while those from OI and IUI remained stable. This is further reflective of the trend of delayed motherhood, with 60% of ART births in women over 35.
These results confirm that births from ART are continuing to increase, while this study, uniquely separating out OI/IUI births shows these remain stable.
Reference:1.Choi SKY, Venetis C, Ledger W, Havard A, Harris K, Norman RJ, Jorm LR, Chambers GM. Population-wide contribution of medically assisted reproductive technologies to overall births in Australia: temporal trends and parental characteristics. Hum Reprod. 2022 May 3;37(5):1047-1058. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deac032. PMID: 35220435.
2. Cornelis (Nils) Lambalk, Editor’s Choice: Delayed childbearing and medically assisted reproduction, Human Reproduction, Volume 37, Issue 5, May 2022, Page e1, https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deac090