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250,000 IVF babies in UK

Press AssociationPress Association 3/11/2016 By Ella Pickover

A quarter of a million UK babies have been born as a result of IVF, new figures show.

The 250,000th IVF baby was born in February 2015, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

The British Fertility Society (BFS) welcomed the milestone figure, saying it was "great news" for patients and their families.

The figures, disclosed by the Press Association, show a sharp rise in the number of IVF and other assisted reproduction treatments in the 25 years since the HFEA was established.

In 1991, 6146 women received 6609 IVF treatments, resulting in 1226 live births.

By 2013 this had risen to 52,288 women receiving 67,708 cycles of IVF treatment, from which 15,283 babies were born.

The success rate for IVF has risen from 14 per cent in 1991 to 26.5 per cent in 2014, according to the figures, which have been released during National Fertility Awareness Week.

"These babies are amongst the five million that have been born worldwide and I am delighted that so many people have been able to have their much-longed-for family," HFEA chairwoman Sally Cheshire said.

Professor Adam Balen, chairman of the BFS welcomed the news.

"Over the years IVF success rates have improved and more people have access to treatment. However, as a society we are still extremely concerned about some CCGs limiting access to treatment and going against the current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance on this."

Susan Seenan, chief executive of leading patient charity Fertility Network UK, said: "It is heart-warming and reassuring to hear during National Fertility Awareness Week that a quarter of a million IVF babies have now been born in the UK - in the nearly 40 years since the word's first IVF baby was born in the UK."

But said those who can't afford IVF or are still unable to have children must also be given support.

The HFEA figures show that substantially more women have fertility treatment in London than any other part of the UK.

The fewest number of treatments take place in Northern Ireland.

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