People who are using ART steadily increase over last 20 years, with less than 2% of births through ART in 1980 and nearly 3% in 2000. It is norm that more than one embryo is transferred via ART. This phenomenon is more obviously seen in America as there was a ‘Octomom’ case reported in this country.
There is no wonder that the rate of ART utilization increases as in today’s society, as many people choose to delay the time to have their first child. In 2010, the mean age of having first childbearing was between 28 and 30 years in European countries. However, as the age of female increases, female fecundity decreases. It means that it becomes harder to conceive and carry a baby to term at an older age, so childbearing delay can be seen as the main reason of ART increasing use. Although ART is a good way to help sub fertile couples to have a child, but issue such as multiple pregnancies is related with ART. In order to increase the success rate of ART, more than one embryo is normally transferred, but when transferring more than one embryo, the rate of complications increases. For example, twins born through IVF are more likely to be born prematurely, to have a low birth weight, respiratory complications and jaundice. Mothers of twins are more likely to have pre-eclampsia, pre- term membrane rupture and require a Caesarean section. Also, having multiple births may cause difficulties to families that are not so wealthy.
There are perceptions among people that ART can solve any problems about decreased fecundity. For example, ART such as IVF is socially accepted, easily accessible and publically funded and many people, especially couples in their later life stage who have difficulty to conceive naturally believe that IVF can help them to conceive whenever they want.
The majority underestimate the age related decline in male and female fertility by about 10 years. To me, it is an obvious misconception. Although ART is more advanced nowadays, but it is not that easy and always successful to help infertile or sub fertile couples to conceive. IVF is not always successful, and as the age of females who want to conceive get older, the success rate of conceiving via IVF is lower. For females who are under 35 years of age, at least around 40 eggs or four cycles are needed to have a successful live delivery, however for females who are or older than 35 years of age, at least 77 eggs are needed. Therefore, besides patience, it is also a bit expensive to have a baby via IVF considering several cycles are needed.
Apart from this misconception, it is shocking that many people also underestimate the age related decline in male and female fertility by 10 years. As many people in today’s society would like to delay childbearing, this type of conception will prevent women from having children at their most fertile age and makes them harder to conceive at ages which they planned.