TORONTO — A new report says fertility clinics in Canada achieved a success rate of 27 live births for every 100 IVF cycles in 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available.
And the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society says the pregnancy rate for in vitro fertilization was 35 per cent in 2007, up nine percentage points since 1999, when the group first started collecting these statistics.
It was too soon to say what the rate of live births was for 2007, though it is generally expected that some of those pregnancies would have ended in miscarriage.
The report says about 15 per cent of pregnancies initiated using assisted reproduction through the society's 26 member clinics ended in miscarriage in 2006.
The live birth rates varied substantially by age, with 34 per cent of women under age 35 and 26 per cent of women aged 35 to 39 having a baby using IVF.
The rate dropped sharply, though, in women over age 40, with only 11 per cent of IVF cycles leading to a live birth.
How do the Canadian rates compare to those of fertility clinics in similar countries?
"Very well. They are very comparable," says Dr. Roger Pierson, chair of the communications committee of the society and director of the University of Saskatchewan's reproductive biology research unit.
The figures are the aggregate results of the country's 26 fertility clinics, which the clinics voluntarily provide. Pierson says that while some clinics will post their own rates on their websites, the society is not a regulatory body and does not release clinic-specific data.
He says the sector expects that when the Federal Assisted Human Reproduction Agency completes the task of drawing up its regulations, it will collect and publish clinic-specific results.
The 2006 data show that 70 per cent of babies born with the help of IVF were singletons and of the multiple births, 95 per cent were twins.
Over the years assisted reproduction has led to an explosion of multiple births. Experts have called for limits on the number of fertilized embryos implanted in each cycle with the aim of reducing the chances an IVF pregnancy will lead to multiple births.
The report says the proportion of babies born with congenital abnormalities was not elevated among IVF-assisted births.
Canadian women went through 8,278 cycles of IVF in 2006 in 25 fertility clinics across the country. In 2007 there were 9,019 treatment cycles performed through 26 clinics. The service costs between $6,000 and $15,000 a cycle, depending on the individual clinic and the type of procedure needed.