On 30th Anniversary of 1st American "Test-Tube" Baby, Seattle Expert Forecasts Big Jump in Pregnancy Rates

Fertility treatment will soon bring 80-percent pregnancy odds for younger patients, predicts Dr. Michael Soules, IVF veteran of three decades

Apr 22, 2011, 19:04 ET from Seattle Reproductive Medicine

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SEATTLE, April 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In the decade after the first American baby was born from in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 1981, the odds of achieving a pregnancy from this technique were roughly one in 10. Now, 30 years later, the odds are approaching even or better for most women, and the best fertility centers will soon reach an 80-percent chance of pregnancy for women 40 and under, predicts Michael Soules, M.D., a physician and senior partner at Seattle Reproductive Medicine, who has been treating infertile patients from Washington, Montana and Alaska, as long as IVF has existed.

Such a high success rate would help many more women who struggle to conceive children – a condition spotlighted during National Infertility Awareness Week, April 24 - 30.

An internationally recognized expert in fertility, Dr. Soules has seen the field evolve from science fiction to mainstream medicine since the world's first IVF birth in 1978. Three years later, the first American IVF baby – and the fifteenth worldwide – Elizabeth Jordan Carr was born in 1981, in Norfolk, Virginia.

When English newborn Louise Brown made headlines as the world's first so-called "test-tube baby," doctors worldwide struggled to replicate the results. But Soules was convinced that the procedure wasn't a fluke, and began working in 1982 to open an IVF clinic at the University of Washington. Over the decades, constant improvement and refining of techniques has led IVF success rates to climb to nearly 60 percent for women 40 and under. By contrast, the odds of a highly fertile couple naturally conceiving through unprotected sex is about 20 percent per month.

See more in a press backgrounder at: http://www.seattlefertility.com

About Seattle Reproductive Medicine

Seattle Reproductive Medicine is the largest fertility center west of the Mississippi River, with 11 full-time physicians practicing in four locations. Led by a nationally recognized team of physicians, SRM offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art assistance for patients with infertility and other reproductive disorders. Practice partners have been awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants and their work in reproductive aging has also received international recognition. For more information, visit www.SeattleFertility.com or call (206) 301-5000.

SOURCE Seattle Reproductive Medicine