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Reproductive Health

, 11:37

First Online: 26 May 2014Received: 15 October 2013Accepted: 15 May 2014DOI: 10.1186-1742-4755-11-37

Cite this article as: Kocourkova, J., Burcin, B. & Kucera, T. Reprod Health 2014 11: 37. doi:10.1186-1742-4755-11-37


BackgroundDelayed childbearing in European countries has resulted in an increase in the number of women having children later in life. Thus more women face the problem of age-related infertility and cannot achieve their desired number of children. Childbearing postponement is one of the main reasons for the increasing use of assisted reproductive technology ART and conversely, the latter may be one of the factors contributing to the rise in female childbearing age. The research goal of our article is to evaluate the demographic importance of ART increased use and to examine its impact on both the fertility rate and birth timing.

MethodsComparative analysis based on demographic and ART data collected by the European IVF-monitoring EIM Consortium for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology ESHRE.

ResultsMost countries with a higher total fertility rate TFR also registered a higher number of treatment cycles per 1 million women of reproductive age. Despite the positive relationship between the postponement rate and the demand for ART among women aged 35 and older, the highest share of children born after ART was not found in countries characterized by a -delayed- fertility schedule. Instead, the highest proportion of ART births was found in countries with fertility schedules concentrated on women aged between 25 and 34. Accordingly, the effective use of ART can be expected in populations with a less advanced postponement rate.

ConclusionsART can have a demographic relevancy when women take advantage of it earlier rather than later in life. Furthermore it is suggested that the use of ART at a younger age increases women’s chance of achieving their reproductive goals and reduces the risk of age-related infertility and failed ART. Based on a demographic approach, reproductive health policy may become an integral part of policies supporting early childbearing: it may keep women from delaying too long having children and increase the chance of diagnosing potential reproductive health problems requiring a timely ART application.

KeywordsFertility Childbearing postponement Assisted reproduction European countries AbbreviationsARTAssisted reproduction technology

TFRTotal fertility rate

ASFRAge specific fertility rate

FPIFertility postponement index

EUEuropean Union

EIMEuropean IVF-monitoring

ESHREEuropean Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

IVFIn Vitro fertilization

ICSIIntracytoplasmic sperm injection

FERFrozen embryo replacement

EDOocyte donation

IVMIn Vitro maturation

PGDPreimplantation genetic diagnosis

FORFrozen oocyte replacement.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1742-4755-11-37 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Jirina Kocourkova, Boris Burcin contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Jirina Kocourkova - Boris Burcin - Tomas Kucera


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