Women are now having children later in life, with the average age of first-time mothers rising from 21 years old in the 1970s to 26 years old now. Possibly because older women have a higher rate of problems conceiving naturally, statistics show that women are now increasingly turning to advanced fertility help. One to two of every 100 babies conceived in the United States is now conceived with the help of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
According to a report issued by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), representing more than 90 percent of fertility clinics in the United States, there were about 62,000 IVF babies born in 2012, an increase of 2000 from the previous year. And that number represents about 1.5 percent of all childbirths in the United States.
However, Miriam Zoll, author of the book Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility and the Pursuit of High Tech Babies, cautions: It s important for people to understand that women over 35 have the highest percentage of failures. Data from previous studies conducted by SART found that compared to women over 42, the percentage of attempts that result in live births is 10 times higher in women under 35.
ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross says, It s gratifying to see how easily people s attitudes toward modern technology changes when it involves core values and needs. Biological pharmaceuticals are one such example and assisted reproduction is clearly another, as the instinct or drive to reproduce is very strong. Obviously, adoption is a fine option for raising children in the event of failure to conceive, but it s great for so many parents-to-be to have the test-tube option so accessible these days, as this study makes clear.