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Div. of Media Relations
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For Immediate Release

December 14, 2001
Contact: Katie Baer

Press Release

CDC Releases 1999 Assisted Reproductive Technology Report

Atlanta--More than 30,000 babies were born as a result of assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures carried out in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.

CDC’s fifth annual ART report summarizes national trends and provides information on success rates from 370 fertility clinics around the country. Overall, about one in four ART cycles resulted in the birth of a baby for women who used their own (fresh) eggs. This is a slight increase in success rate from the previous year (from 24.9 percent to 25.2 percent).

The report provides clinic success rates to help consumers make informed decisions about having a baby through ART treatment. Information from each of the reporting clinics is summarized in an easy-to-read one-page format.

"The report contains key information for women and couples who are considering ART for infertility problems," said Dr. Lynne Wilcox, director of CDC’s reproductive health program. "ART holds out the promise of having a child, but it can be a long and expensive process. People need all the information they can get to make an informed decision."

Dr. Wilcox added that deciding on ART is a personal decision that a woman or couple should make in consultation with a physician, and she encouraged caution in comparing success rates of various clinics. The success rate depends on many factors besides a clinic’s skill. Success depends on cause of infertility and a woman’s age, among other factors.

The 1999 report found that the age of the woman is one of the most important factors in determining whether she will have a live birth by using her own eggs. "Women in their 20s and early 30s had relatively high rates of success for both pregnancies and live births," said Laura A. Schieve, Ph.D., who directs CDC’s ART project. "However, both rates declined steadily from the mid-30s onward."

Overall, 32 percent of the ART procedures started in 1999 among women younger than 35 resulted in live births. This percentage decreased to 26 percent among women aged 35-37, 18 percent among women aged 38-40, 10 percent among women 41-42 and 5 percent among women older than 42.

Approximately 37 percent of all ART deliveries were multiple births (twins or more), compared with less than 3 percent for the general population. Multiple embryos are often transferred to increase the likelihood of a live pregnancy. However, multiple births are associated with greater risk, both to the babies–including prematurity, low birthweight, neonatal death, and lifelong disability–and to the mothers, including cesarean section and hemorrhage.

Reporting of clinic fertility success was mandated by the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992. The 1999 report was prepared jointly by CDC, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and RESOLVE, a national consumer organization that helps people who are considering ART treatment.

The full report is available on the web at or by calling CDC at (770) 488-5372. The ART Web pages are part of the reproductive health web site, which is a resource for media, health professionals, and the general public. The site includes information on reproductive health and pregnancy, hysterectomy, HIV/AIDS, infant health, violence associated with reproductive health, and other issues.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national and international organizations.

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This page last updated December 14, 2001

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