Other important data the European IVF Monitoring group (EIM) on 2008 cycles and the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART) on 2007 cycles highlighted were Sweden's low rate of multiple births the lowest in the world and Spain's 30 % share of egg donations in Europe.
The EIM collected data on frozen oocyte retrieval (FOR) cycles for the first time. Until today, egg freezing is still not offered on a wide scale but can be an option for women who wish to postpone motherhood or are facing cancer therapy to save their lives. Recently, vitrification techniques have offered oocyte survival rates in excess of 90 % and implantation rates per transfer that are comparable with fresh eggs. Scientists still face problems such as poor oocyte survival post-thaw, low fertilisation rates, cytoskeletal damage during vitrification and poor reproducibility of results.
"Of the 19 countries reporting on FOR in 2008, Italy is by far the country with the most cycles using this technology," said Dr. Jacques de Mouzon, chair of the EIM. With 3,284 cycles, Italy is far ahead of Finland (325 cycles), Russia (220) and Spain (199). The reason for Italy's dominance in this area lies in its legislative framework. A law passed in 2004 and overruled in 2009, set a limit of three oocytes to be inseminated per cycle, of which all resulting embryos had to be transferred. Embryo freezing and research on the embryo was outlawed, but not egg freezing. Hence, Italian clinics gained considerable expertise in this area over the last years.
The group also reported that with 4,068 cycles, 30 % of all egg donations (ED) occur in Spain, followed by the Czech Republic (15 %) and Russia (12 %). "Three countries make up almost 60 % of all egg donations in Europe," said Dr. De Mouzon. "Certain clinics in Spain offer wide-ranging egg donation programmes, which may also be the reason why Spain scores so high in terms of frozen oocyte cycles." Th
|Contact: Hanna Hanssen|
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology