Study links age matters in success with laboratory fertility techniques

U.S. government study according that woman's ability to have a child using assisted technologies such as test-tube &to=' target=_blank>fertilization plummets to a 4 percent success rate after she turns 42.

According to the report, more than 45,000 babies were born in the United States with the help of assisted &to=' target=_blank>reproductive technology in 2002, up from 40,687 babies in 2001.

There were 115,392 attempts at conceiving a child using assisted reproductive technology in 2002 compared to 107,587 tries in 2001.

Most attempts were by in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, also known as test-tube baby technology, in which a woman's egg and her partner's sperm are allowed to make contact in a lab dish, and resulting embryos are implanted in the woman's uterus or sometimes frozen for later use.

The report found that 28.3 percent of ART procedures resulted in the birth of one or more babies for women who used their own freshly fertilized eggs. About 35 percent of all births using ART led to multiple births -- twins, triplets or more -- compared to a 3 percent rate among the general population.

An analysis found that 37 percent of assisted attempts in women under 35, using a woman's own egg and her partner's sperm, led to a live birth.

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