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The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (the ‘HFEA’), which licenses and oversees fertility treatment in the UK, celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year (2021). Since it began recording information in 1991, approximately 1.3 million in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles and 260,000 donor insemination (DI) cycles have been undertaken in the UK. This has resulted in the birth of around 390,000 babies through UK fertility treatment. Every baby is much-wanted and represents a new life that might not otherwise have been brought into the world.

Much has changed over the last 30 years and we have seen massive uptake in demand for fertility treatment in the UK. In 1991 there were just 6,700 IVF cycles undertaken at UK fertility clinics. By 2019, the number of IVF cycles had increased by a factor of ten to over 69,000.

Latest statistics from the HFEA show that IVF birth rates in 2019 were also three times higher than they were in 1991. Birth rates have steadily increased over time with the average birth rate per embryo transferred standing at 24% in 2018, compared with just 7% in 1991. 

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