Over 61,000 babies were conceived via IVF in 2012, which means 1.5 percent of America’s 3.9 million births that year were ushered in that way. It was the biggest year for IVF on record, and those numbers are the culmination of a rising trend over the last ten years.
"A lot of individuals — specifically women — are choosing to develop their careers, and they're having great opportunities, " says Charles Coddington III, an OB-GYN at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and president of SART. "So a lot of them are getting older before they have children, and they are needing more IVF services."
At the same time, the number of high-risk multiple births from the treatment have been slowly declining, the report found.
Yay? I admit: Somehow I feel guilty, more or less, for not being pregnant right now. Like I'm late for life. But if Melissa Harris-Perry could utilize IVF and surrogacy at 40, maybe I'm OK?
NPR reports that there was a 6 percent chance that women between the ages of 35 and 40 would have triplets in 2003, but now it’s about .7 percent. Doctors have begun using fewer embryos during each IVF round but Coddington says there are still "outliers."
Twins and triplets might sound like a great byproducts but the doctor says it poses health risks for both the mom and the babies. Twins are usually born about a month or so early and that means some will have to be in the neonatal nursery, under constant watch.
Mothers pregnant with twins and triplets have higher risks for diabetes, Cesarean sections and a form of hypertension called preeclampsia, Coddington says. "Pregnancy is the toughest elective stress that women will put on their body," he says. "We think it's a simple as, 'Boom! You're pregnant.' But there's a lot of things that can happen."
And while fertility treatments like IVF are responsible for the rise in births according to one study, IVF is pretty expensive. One cycle in the States runs about $12,400 and the odds of conception are one in three. Of course, the odds are agist: "For those under age 35, success rates are more than 40 percent. Above age 42, chances fall to about 10 percent per cycle."
Looks like your ovaries are still on the clock ladies, because science.
Image via Getty.