The number of in-vitro fertilization treatments to attain pregnancy in Israel has increased significantly during the past decade, the Health Ministry reported on Thursday.

About 25 percent of the treatments resulted in pregnancy, while 20% produced a live baby.

Between 2009 and 2010, 4.1% of all live births were the result of IVF, compared to 3.3% in 2005 and 2.5% in 2001.

The number of IVF cycles totaled 34,538 (women generally undergo several cycles to achieve a pregnancy) in 2010 compared to nearly 32,000 during the previous year and 18,000 in 2000. This figure represents 18.9 treatments per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49 compared to 17.8 in 2000.

Among the 34,538 cycles, embryos were turned to the woman’s body after test-tube fertilization in 29,961 cases.

A total of 8,123 pregnancies came about in 2010 as a result of IVF treatment, and 5,612 were live deliveries.

The average number of babies born to women after IVF treatment was 1.2, a figure that has been steady during the last decade. This is an indication of the practice of returning only a small number of embryos to the woman’s body to avoid the risk of multiple births.

The ministry decided recently to establish a national database for IVF treatment, along with the Israel Society for Fertility Research, the Israel Ob/GynSociety, the National Council for Obstetrics, Neonatology and Genetics, the Gertner Institute, the Israel Medical Association and the IVF units in all the country’s general hospitals.

The collection of data will make possible the provision of more accurate data, including the short-term and long-term influences on IVF treatment in Israel, the ministry said.

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