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5 Million 'Test Tube' Babies Born to Date
Date:7/2/2012

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- About 5 million babies have been born worldwide from assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), since the birth of Louise Brown, the world's first "test tube baby" in 1978, newly released figures show.

"Five million babies are a clear demonstration that IVF and ICSI are now an essential part of normalized and standardized clinical therapies for the treatment of infertile couples," said Dr. Anna Veiga, chairman of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology and scientific director of Dexeus University Institute in Barcelona, in a society news release.

Researchers from the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART) based their calculations on the number of IVF and ICSI treatment cycles recorded worldwide as of 2008. Estimates were added in for 2009 through 2011, resulting in a total of 4.6 million births. As of this year, that global tally has reached 5 million babies.

The figures were scheduled for presentation Sunday at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Istanbul, Turkey.

With IVF, an egg is removed from a woman and placed with sperm in a test tube. If successfully fertilized, it results in a zygote/embryo that is implanted in the woman's uterus. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is an IVF treatment in which the sperm is injected directly into the egg.

Dr. David Adamson, from Fertility Physicians of Northern California, USA, and chairman of ICMART, said it's clear the technology has been highly successful in treating infertile patients. "The major barriers to access are economic, and societal in some situations. IVF is firmly established now in the mainstream of medicine," he said.

Success rates from a single, "fresh" treatment cycle of IVF and ICSI have stabilized at about 32 percent pregnancy rate per
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