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Test tube baby births increase in Taiwan
Central News Agency
2013-06-10 06:37 PM
Taipei, June 10 (CNA) The number of test tube babies born in Taiwan has almost doubled in the 13-year period between 1998 and 2010, due to people getting married later and postponing childbearing, according to statistics released Monday by the health promotion authorities. The number of babies produced through in vitro fertilization (IVF) increased from 2,317 in 1998 to 4,117 in 2010 in the country of 23 million people, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Health Promotion (BHP) under the Cabinet-level Department of Health. The percentage of IVF babies to all births rose from 0.9 percent in 1998 to 2.5 percent in 2010, the statistics indicate. The BHP attributed the growth to the phenomena that more and more people are getting married later in life and women are consequently having their first child later, which the bureau said can lead to problems with infertility. According to Ministry of the Interior statistics, in Taiwan, the average age at which men get married for the first time was 31.9 years old in 2012, an increase of 0.9 years from 10 years ago, while the age for women was 29.5, a rise of 2.7 years. In 2012, the average age at which women gave birth to their first child was 30.11 years, up 3.2 years from 10 years ago, the tallies show. Among them, nearly 20 percent were 35 or older, according to the data. The BHP statistics also show that 50 percent of IVF babies were the result of multiple births, and that two out of three multiple birth babies were premature. BHP Director-General Chiou Shu-ti warned that carrying more than one baby at a time does not just pose a higher risk to the mother but also to the babies themselves. She warned people to thoroughly communicate with doctors specializing in IVF on the necessity and risks of having the procedure. (By Lung Rui-yun and Elizabeth Hsu)
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