Christian group issues warning on IVF anniversary

Wed 25 Jul 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

The Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) has warned that clinicians are adding to the heartbreak and misery of thousands of infertile women by not identifying IVF myths.

Wednesday marked the 40th birthday of the world's first IVF baby, Louise Brown.

Philippa Taylor, head of public policy at CMF, said that 40 years later IVF treatment has not solved the "heartbreak of infertility".


"While the IVF industry and media focus on and market the success stories, the average delivery rate from ART treatments [assisted reproductive technology] are around just 19 per cent per cycle.

"In the UK, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority reports a 'success' rate of 26.5 per cent. This 'success' rate actually means that 73.5 per cent of cycles do not lead to a birth", she wrote.

Taylor also warned that too many women are being duped by stories of celebrities in their 50s who with the help of IVF find it relatively quick and easy to conceive.

She said: "Success rates for IVF diminish rapidly after 35 years of age for women. Even a woman under 35 years has less than a one in three chance of having a baby per embryo transferred, using her own eggs and partner's sperm.

"A woman in her early 40s only has about a one in ten chance of having a baby per embryo transferred. And the success rate drops to a mere two per cent for women over 44."

Taylor highlighted the "troubling aspects of the fertility industry" citing babies born with health challenges and the use of medically unproven techniques.

"IVF can provide couples with a child they desperately want. And it has brought many precious new lives into being, and real happiness to millions of parents. But too many now think it is the answer to infertility. But it is not," she wrote.

It is estimated that more than seven million babies have been born as a result of IVF and other assisted reproduction treatments.

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