61,740 babies — around 1.5 percent of those born in 2012 — “were conceived in a laboratory dish,” the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.
That’s an all-time high, says the report, which is based on numbers released by the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).
SART collects the data from its 379 member fertility clinics.
Those clinics performed a record 165,172 procedures in 2012, resulting in 61,740 births.
Ninety-nine percent of the procedures done in 2012 were in vitro fertilization, a laboratory procedure in which eggs and sperm are united in a laboratory dish, then implanted in the uterus.
The federal Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 11 percent of women aged 15-44 in the United States have “impaired fecundity,” which means they have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, regardless of marital status.
A woman’s chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30.
But infertility is also a male problem. In 2012, 17 percent of the infertility cases diagnosed involved problems with sperm, the SART data show.