IVF success rates in the UK have risen in every age group, with the number of women having effective treatment topping 10,000 for the first time in 2006, according to new figures.
Data from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) showed there were 10,242 births resulting in 12,596 babies – a 13% rise on the number of births in 2005.
The live birth rate rose in 2006, with 23.1% of treatment cycles resulting in a live birth, up 1.5% on the previous year. In 1992, the first year the HFEA started collecting data, the live birth rate was 13%.
The number of patients and the number of treatments being undertaken in the UK also rose.
A total of 34,855 women were treated at UK clinics in 2006 – up 6.8% on the previous year. In total, they underwent 44,275 cycles of IVF treatment, up 5.6% on the previous year.
The HFEA has been urging clinics to cut the number of multiple births as a result of fertility treatment as they carry risks for both mothers and babies. The multiple birth rate fell from 24% of births in 2005 to 22.7% in 2006.
Professor Lisa Jardine, chairwoman of the HFEA, said: "In the year that we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the birth of the world's first IVF baby, these latest figures show just how far we've come."