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A new Health Ministry reports shows that a whopping 25 percent of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)treatments resulted in pregnancies, with 20% of attempts resulting in live births.  The number represents the doubling of success in the last decade.

According to the report, 4.1% of births in Israel were the result of IVF treatments in 2010, compared to 2.5% in 1997.  In 2010, 8,123 IVF cycles resulted in pregnancy, with 4,217 achieving success in 2000.

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The average women gave birth to 1.2 babies, a consistent figure which is accounted for by the common Israeli practice of returning only one or two embryos to a woman’s body, so as to avoid the risk of multiple births.

Healthy ministry officials attribute the surge in success to Israeli advancement in IVF technology and procedure, and extensive scientific and medical research.

Israeli law provides all women with free and unlimited IVF procedures for up to two live babies.  In 2011, 35,000 IVF cycles were completed throughout the country, up from 18,011 in 2000.

Among the reasons for the rising figures in IVF treatment success is the advanced scientific and medical research in the field of medicine.

In May, Jerusalem’s Shaarei Zedek hospital celebrated its 200th successful pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) IVF procedure, in which doctors examine embryos on the molecular level to assist families with pre-dispositions for debilitating genetic disorders to have healthy children.

Dr. Michael Gal, Senior Physician in Shaarei Zedek’s IVF unit, told the Jewish Press’s Yishai Fleisher that Israel has the highest number of IVF units per capita in the world because of government support and because “we love children here”.

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Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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