More than 300,000 babies in the UK are born as a result of fertility treatments – and 100,000 of those have been born within the last six years. The encouraging news is according to official figures released by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) recently.

The HFEA’s records cover the periods 1991 to 2015 (which was the most recent data available) and take in both IVF and donor insemination (DI) successes.

2015 was also the year when the HFEA – the government’s independent regulator for fertility treatment and research – celebrated the millionth treatment cycle. Latest statistics showed treatments numbered 1,034,601 by the time records were updated.

The average age of a woman seeking fertility treatment is 35

The database – the HFEA’s own Register – also revealed that fertility services in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – helped mostly younger woman with the average age of a recipient being around 35 years (a figure which hasn’t changed for a number of years).

The most popular age group for users is 18-34 years, with around 43 per cent of all treatments falling within this age group. Women aged 40 years received 20 per cent of treatments (around 14,500). Very few women aged 45 and over received treatment.

North West reveals most impressive patient/clinic ratio

Although figures for fertility treatment are high in London and the South East (42 per cent of all cycles occur here), numbers in the north of the country have been growing steadily to the fact that clinics in the North West of England are providing more treatments per clinic than anywhere else in the UK – including the capital (London currently boasts 22 fertility clinics).

Chair of HFEA, Sally Cheshire CBE said that the figures showed the success of the fertility sector in the UK.

She added:  “Families using assisted reproduction services across the UK are better served than ever before, and we will continue to encourage all who work in the sector to offer the highest quality support for patients who are both successful and unsuccessful.”

Sector champion refers to “extraordinary growth of IVF”

Chief Executive of patient charity Fertility Network UK, Susan Seenan said the statistics showing the “extraordinary growth of IVF in the last six years”, and emphasised the need even more for “practical and emotional support and advice for the many people facing fertility issues.”

She said it was important to also note that fertility services were used mostly by younger woman aged 35 and under who have been trying to conceive for at least two years prior to attending a clinic.

One in six UK couples suffer from infertility

The data was revealed by the HFEA during National Fertility Awareness Week which took place last year from Monday 30 October to Sunday 5 November. The Week is about raising awareness of fertility issues, as well as tackling common misperceptions often perpetuated by the media such as fertility being too easily available to older women. Around one in six couples in the UK today are believed to have some sort of fertility issue.

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