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Age of women receiving artificial insemination on the rise: MOHW

2019/05/28 17:34:18

Image for illustrative purposes only / Image taken from Pixabay.

Taipei, May 28 (CNA) The age of women resorting to artificial insemination is on the rise, reflecting the trend in Taiwan of women having children at a later age, figures in a recent report issued by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) showed.

Women aged between 35 and 38 were more likely than any other age group to have artificial insemination in 2017, unlike in 1998 when the biggest group getting artificial insemination was women aged 30 to 33, the report from the MOHW's Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said.

Also, the percentage of artificial inseminations for women aged 35 or over has shot up dramatically in recent years, from 64.9 percent in 2015 to 68.4 percent in 2016 and to 71.1 percent in 2017, according to HPA data.

Breaking down the percentages by age group, around 40 percent, or 15,130 of the treatments in 2017 were for women aged between 35 to 39, and 25.3 percent, or 9,557 treatments, were for women between 40 to 44 years of age, the report showed.

Another 23.8 percent, or 9,024 treatments, were for women aged between 30 to 34, while 5.2 percent, or 1,986 treatments, were for those aged between 45 to 49. Of note is that there were 217 artificial inseminations for women over the age of 50 who in 2017, 43 percent more than in 2016 and more than double the 100 treatments in 2015, according to the report.

Figures in the report also pointed to problems women have had getting pregnant and the greater likelihood of infertility the older a person is.

The number of artificial insemination treatments obtained by women jumped five-fold from 7,281 in 2006 to 37,849 in 2017, the report said.

Age was directly correlated with the likelihood of getting pregnant, as women under 35 years who got artificially inseminated had a roughly 46.5 percent chance of developing a fetus, whereas their peers over 40 had only an 18.8 percent chance.

The chances of a fetus surviving until birth also dropped from 37.6 percent for women under 35 years of age to 8.2 percent for women over 40, the report said.

Mai Yang-chun (麥揚竣), head of the HPA's Maternal and Child Health Division, said that by definition, women over 34 years old wishing to get pregnant are considered to be of advanced maternal age, and it is recommended that women who wish to get pregnant do so before the age of 34.

It can reduce the risks involved with conception and also lower the chances of fetal defects, Mai said, while noting that the older a woman is, the longer it takes for the artificial insemination process to succeed, Mai said.

The report also found a slight fall in the success rate of artificial insemination, which went from 26.1 percent in 2016 to 25.3 percent in 2017.

While 3,363 more artificial inseminations were performed in 2017 than in 2016, it only resulted in an increase of 602 newborns through the process from the year before, the report said.

In terms of infertility issues, multiple factors accounted for 32.8 percent of the issues, while ovary complications (28.7 percent), factors involving the male partner (12.2 percent), and fallopian tube issues (9.4 percent) also factored in, according to the figures.

The percentages were about the same as in 2016, the report showed.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and William Yen)