How many of the nation's newborns would not be here without, as the CDC calls it, assisted reproductive technology? The answer is 1.4 percent. As a result of the 146,244 assisted reproductive technology procedures performed in 2009 (the latest data available), 60,190 babies were born--or just over 1 percent of births. Assisted reproductive technology is defined by the CDC to include only fertility treatments in which both egg and sperm are handled in a laboratory. It does not include artificial insemination or drug-induced egg production unless the drug treatment is for egg retrieval.
Multiple births are a common outcome of assisted reproductive technology. That's because most parents choose to transfer more than one embryo during these procedures, according to the CDC--primarily because of cost. In 2009, almost half (47 percent) of babies born through assisted reproductive technology were multiple births compared with only 3 percent of all births.
The introduction of assisted reproductive technology explains why 1 in every 30 babies born in the United States in 2009 was a twin, up from 1 in every 53 babies in 1980. Overall, 19 percent of twin births and 34 percent of triplet births are the result of assisted reproductive technology.
Source: CDC, Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance—United States, 2009